Fornham St Martin man found guilty of dangerous driving after hitting person with his van

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk man who drove his van at a man and carried him 150m along the road on the bonnet had been convicted of dangerous driving.

Luke Messetter, 39, of St Andrew’s Drive, Fornham St Martin, had denied the charge but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The case was adjourned until the week commencing July 31 for a pre-sentence report.

Messetter had also denied two offences of assault by beating on Kyra and Ryan Tyler, criminal damage to a car and assaulting Andrew Vernoum causing him actual bodily harm.

He was found not guilty of the two common assaults and criminal damage to the car and the jury was discharged from returning a verdict on the charge of assaulting Mr Vernoum.

The court heard that the alleged offences took place on August 16 last year after Messetter visited the home of Caroline Longden in Bury St Edmunds.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, alleged that an argument started after Ms Longden’s son Ryan Tyler, her daughter Kyra Tyler and Kyra Tyler’s partner Andrew Vernoum arrived at the house and Messetter was asked to leave.

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Messetter refused and allegedly spat in Ryan Tyler’s face and grabbed Kyra Tyler by the throat and pushed her into a neighbour’s fence, breaking two panels.

Ryan Tyler had pulled Messeter off his sister and after a scuffle Messetter had allegedly got into his van and deliberately reversed it into Mr Vernoum’s car before turning the van round and ramming the car.

Mr Vernoum had gone over to confront Messetter and had stood in front of his van at which point Messetter had accelerated towards him and hit him on the legs causing him to land on the bonnet.

Mr Vernoum held on to the windscreen wipers while Messetter drove 150m before coming to a halt after hitting a fire hydrant.

As a result of the incident Mr Vernoum suffered a sprained ankle and scratches and grazes to his legs.

The court heard that after his arrest Messetter claimed he had been acting in self defence.