Car passenger jailed for pulling on handbrake during row with driver
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A passenger who pulled on the handbrake of the car he was travelling in causing a collision involving three other vehicles has been jailed for 15 months.
Sentencing Jason Rex, Judge John Devaux described what he did as "incredibly foolish" and said he had been in a rage when he applied the handbrake causing the car he was travelling in to "slew" across the road.
Rex, 30, of Coke Road, Norwich, admitted causing danger to road users by interfering with a road vehicle and in addition to being jailed he was banned from driving for 19 months and two weeks.
Michael Crimp, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said that on December 12 last year Rex had been a passenger in a car driven by a work colleague on the A1088 at Ixworth.
They had been travelling to the Woolpit area to carry out some work and during the journey Rex had become angry and agitated during a discussion about something that happened the previous week.
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He had started raising his voice and was shouting and swearing and the driver of the vehicle suggested he should turn round and take Rex home.
Rex had replied: "Yes you will" and the next thing the driver was aware of was the "ratchet noise" of the handbrake being applied.
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The driver lost control of the car which slid sideways on to the wrong side of the road and collided with an oncoming car driven by a police officer who was on his way from Wymondham to Martlesham Police Headquarters.
The officer swerved and applied his brakes in an unsuccessful bid to avoid a collision and suffered bruising to his back, neck, chest, knees and shins.
Mr Crimp said that two other vehicles were also involved in the collision.
The driver of the car in which Rex was a passenger suffered prolapsed discs in his neck and shoulder and neck pain and his car was a write-off.
Helen O'Keefe, for Rex, said her client had never been to prison before and had suffered a cut to his head as a result of the collision.
She said he was training to be an electrical engineer.
"He made a silly mistake and he is aware of the seriousness of his actions," said Miss O'Keefe.