Felixstowe: Teen who struck man with car and dragged him along road is banned from driving
13:00 29 January 2014
A man who tried to remonstrate with a teenager about his driving was struck by the car before being dragged along the road hanging on to the wing mirror, a court has heard.
Malcolm Beer was at the Sea Cadet Centre in Felixstowe when he was approached by three teenage cyclists who appeared out of breath and shaken up after being followed by a car driven by 18-year-old Joseph Mitchell, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Mr Beer walked towards the Peugeot driven by Mitchell, which was parked with two wheels on the kerb in Garrison Lane, with his hand in a “stop” gesture.
However, as he stepped off the kerb to approach the driver’s window, Mitchell, who has a learning age of an 11 or 12-year-old, accelerated towards him and struck him, said David Wilson, prosecuting.
“At the point of impact Mr Beer was on the driver’s side of the car,” said Mr Wilson.
As the car drove off Mr Beer was hanging on to the wing mirror and was dragged a short distance on to the opposite carriageway.
As a result of the incident he suffered cuts and grazes to his elbow, hand, shoulder and knee and pain to his hip, said Mr Wilson.
He told the court that prior to the incident involving Mr Beer on September 26 Mitchell had followed three teenage cyclists in his Peugeot 106 along Garrison Lane revving the engine to intimidate them and swerving towards them.
At one stage Mitchell had swerved on to the pavement and one of the cyclists was forced to turn into a recess in a brick wall to avoid being hit by the car, said Mr Wilson.
Mitchell, of Cornwall Road, Felixstowe, admitted dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident and was given an 18 month community order.
He was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended driving test.
He was also made the subject of a curfew order and an attendance centre order.
Judge Rupert Overbury said he was extremely concerned after learning that Mitchell had a learning age of an 11 or 12-year-old and ordered that the DVLA should be made aware of his disabilities in case they affected his ability to drive in the future.
Sentencing Mitchell, Judge Overbury described his driving as “grossly reckless” and said it was fortunate Mr Beer had not been more seriously injured.
He accepted that Mitchell was easily led and sometimes wanted to “just fit in” with other people.
“You can’t do that and not take responsibilty for whatever happens as a result,” said the judge.
He said Mitchell was sorry for what he had done and had written a letter of apology to Mr Beer.