A pensioner who drove his car into the back of another man’s legs has been banned from driving and ordered to take an extended test before getting his licence back.
Barry Arundell pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to assaulting his victim Michael Miles, causing him actual bodily harm, but guilty to dangerous driving.
Arundell, 72, of Grenfell Close, Leamington, was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, disqualified for 12 months, after which he will have to take an extended test, and ordered to pay £340 costs.
Prosecutor Graham Russell said the two men had previously been friends until they fell out some years ago – but Arundell lived in the same street as Mr Miles’s girlfriend.
On July 5 last year Mr Miles was taking his girlfriend’s dogs for a walk, and they were off their leads when he heard a car ‘coming at some speed.’
Mr Miles stood in the road and signalled to the driver, Arundell, to stop so he could speak to him about his speed.
“The defendant didn’t stop, but continued travelling at slow speed towards him, and collided at very low speed with Mr Miles’s leg,” said Mr Russell.
A CCTV recording from a camera at a nearby house showed Mr Miles turning away before being struck by Arundell’s Renault, causing him to stumble onto the bonnet.
Mr Miles walked away, and continued walking the dogs, but on his return he contacted the police and photographs were taken of the bruising to his legs.
When Arundell was arrested, he said he had been driving at 14mph, and claimed that Mr Miles had been moving away from him but kicking out at the car.
And he denied driving at him, claiming Mr Miles had been trying to set him up, added Mr Russell.
Addressing Arundell’s barrister, Judge Sally Hancox commented: “Whatever the difficulty between these two men, what on earth was he thinking?
“Looking at the bruising in the pictures, it’s bad enough – but it could have been much worse.”
Delroy Henry, defending, said: “It really is sad when friends fall out.”
But the judge responded: “This was still an assault, and whatever Mr Arundell said to the police, he’s been sensible to accept his wrong-doing today.”
Mr Henry added that Arundell is married with two adult children, and he and his wife are due to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this month.
He pointed out that the mandatory disqualification will cause difficulties for Arundell, who has health problems including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and the car he was driving was his Motability vehicle.
Sentencing Arundell, Judge Hancox told him: “Whatever had passed between you two gentlemen in the past, what on earth were you thinking, even at such a low speed, and even when one man was standing in front of another man’s car?
“The courts frequently refer to cars being used as a weapon – and that is exactly what you have done.
“You were in a car, and no matter how slowly you were driving, you continued to go forward at low speed, and it’s clear you made contact with the back of his legs and knees.
“I have seen photographs of the bruising. He thankfully has suffered no further injury as a result of what you did.
“Had you pleaded not guilty and had a trial, a judge would have had to consider whether a term of custody should be considered. But this matter could have properly been dealt with before the magistrates.”
And she added: “Hopefully you and he will be able to behave towards each-other with a little more dignity in the future.”