Irate teen crashed car into friend after squabble over mobile phone

An irate driver got six years' custody for crashing his car into a former friend - in a squabble about a mobile phone.
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A court heard that James Smith drove his Subaru the wrong way up a dual carriageway near Gainsborough, knocking his 19-year-old victim ten feet into the air.

An air ambulance was called in to take him unconscious to Sheffield General Hospital, Nottingham Crown Court heard recently. He ended up with a back injury, bruised head and grazes.

The spell in a young offenders’ institution were ordered for Smith, also 19, ofTheobald Avenue, Doncaster, and formerly of Summergangs Lane, Gainsborough.

He admitted dangerous driving and intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. The learner driver was banned from the roads for four years and nine months.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told him: “The fact that your behaviour was about a mobile phone makes it more outrageous. Thank your lucky stars - you could easily have killed him.”

Smith had sent his victim a string of Facebook messages over the purchase of a phone, including one saying: “I will slap you like a bitch.”

David Allan, prosecuting, said the victim used Facebook to advertise the sale of his mobile. Smith made contact and his messages soon became angry.

“He described Smith as a member of the travelling community. He said he is a bully ‘who likes to act the hard man.’”

A village hall’s CCTV filmed Smith driving round a car park at 11am on April 25. He then left the area before returning and speaking to the other man.

Soon after, the man had to jump out of the way as the car headed towards him. When he ran down a footpath, Smith drove after him - and ended going the wrong way up the A631 dual carriageway near the village of Beckingham. Another driver was shocked to see the car and noticed the man “swerving right and left” as he ran from the vehicle - which was going from side to side and closing in.

“The other driver looked in his wing mirror and saw what he called a 4X4 hit the male, who was catapulted up into the air, thrown six to ten feet,” said Mr Allan.

Smith escaped by driving the wrong way on a roundabout. His car was later found abandoned behind fir trees near Newark.

James Beck, mitigating, told the judge: “The victim needs to understand why the defendant pursued him with such vigour. I am not able to enlighten the court. It appears to everyone concerned to be very trivial.”

The court heard that Smith had previously been banned from the roads for a year after being convicted of dangerous driving.

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