Bardwell: Man rammed lorry with digger

A 76-YEAR-OLD Suffolk man who repeatedly rammed a contractor’s lorry with his JCB has lost his appeal against a conviction for criminal damage.

Robert Reynolds, of Bardwell Hall, caused more than �2,500 damage to the gulley sucker after an argument with its driver, who was working to remove flood water from Ixworth Road, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

CCTV footage recorded by a camera on the lorry, which was played at yesterday’s appeal hearing, showed Reynolds remonstrating with the driver before getting into his JCB and repeatedly ramming the vehicle, which he claimed was blocking an entrance to his land.

Reynolds was found guilty of causing criminal damage by magistrates in April and was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, fined �4,000 and ordered to pay �2,660 compensation for damage to the gulley sucker, �950 compensation to the driver Graham Cane and �600 costs.

Reynolds was also banned from driving for 12 months and banned under a prohibited activity requirement from driving a digger or tractor for 12 months .

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Reynolds, who also has homes on the Isle of Man and in New Zealand, wasn’t at the magistrates’ hearing but attended yesterday’s appeal, which was against conviction and sentence, in a wheelchair.

Mr Cane, of Great Yarmouth, who worked for Bagnall and Morris Ltd told the court that after he parked his vehicle Reynolds had approached him “waving, pointing and shouting” and threatened to ram his lorry with his digger.

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Mr Cane had a J-bar tool to assist with his work but denied threatening Reynolds with it.

He claimed Reynolds had got into his digger and had driven it directly at him, forcing him to move out of the way before ramming his lorry six times.

Reynolds told the court he had been concerned that Mr Cane was going to put muddy water into a pond on his land and was annoyed that he had blocked an entrance to his land with the gulley sucker.

He claimed Mr Cane had been abusive and aggressive to him and had raised an iron bar he was holding over his head and threatened him with it. “I was terrified,” said Reynolds.

He claimed he had accidentally hit the lorry as he tried to get on to his land.

He denied deliberately driving his digger at Mr Cane and then deliberately ramming his lorry.

Dismissing the appeal Judge John Devaux, who was sitting with two magistrates, said: “This was an angry man who was going to teach the gulley sucker driver a lesson and that’s what we saw him doing on the sequence we watched.”

The bench ordered Reynolds to pay a further �620 costs for yesterday’s hearing and did not interfere with the magistrates’ sentence, apart from amending the prohibited activity requirement to allow Reynolds to drive a tractor or digger as long as it wasn’t on a public highway.

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