Motorist escapes jail 'by a whisker'

A TEENAGE motorist who drove his car with a man on his bonnet has escaped a prison sentence “by a whisker”.Scott Manning had only been driving for a month when he drove into the back of another car at a roundabout on the new relief road in Lowestoft, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Jane Hunt

A TEENAGE motorist who drove his car with a man on his bonnet has escaped a prison sentence “by a whisker”.

Scott Manning had only been driving for a month when he drove into the back of another car at a roundabout on the new relief road in Lowestoft, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

When Mervyn Lambert got out of his car and attempted to take a photograph of Manning with his mobile phone he was horrified to see Manning driving towards him, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

The bumper of the Fiat hit Mr Lambert's legs and he ended up on the bonnet of the car with his arms outstretched.

Manning then drove around the roundabout causing Mr Lambert to be thrown off the bonnet. He landed on the carriageway 20-25 feet from where he was initially struck by the car.

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As well as being badly shaken by the incident he suffered cuts and bruises to his arms, legs and hands and his mobile phone and his clothes were also damaged, said Mr Crimp.

Manning, 18, of Ryedale, Carlton Colville admitted dangerous driving and was given nine months detention in a young offenders' institution suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 300 hours unpaid work in the community. He was also banned from driving for two years, ordered to take an extending driving retest and ordered to pay £500 costs.

Sentencing him Recorder Martyn Levett said Manning had escaped an immediate custodial sentence “by a whisker”.

Describing Manning's behaviour on the day in question he said: “It was to say the least a disgraceful piece of dangerous driving aggravated by the fact that it caused injury and you failed to stop.”

Mr Crimp told the court that the incident took place on August 27 and had been preceded by some “interaction” between Manning and Mr Lambert. “The behaviour of neither was entirely beyond reproach,” he said.

When Mr Lambert pulled up at a roundabout Manning's car had gone into the back of him and it was at that stage Mr Lambert had got out to take a picture of Manning in case he drove off.

Mr Lambert had not been aggressive to Manning but Manning had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the basis that he mistakenly thought Mr Lambert was going to be violent towards him after he “accidentally shunted” Mr Lambert's car.

Mr Crimp said the damage to Mr Lambert's car was a cracked bumper and scuffed paintwork.

Stephen Spence for Manning said his client had no previous convictions and was hoping to have a career in the Royal Marines.

He said Manning regretted his behaviour on the day in question and was anxious that any sentence passed by the court would not prevent him joining the Marines.

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