Stowmarket driver who damaged cars acted in self defence afer being ‘bad mouthed’

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk woman whose car collided with two cars and damaged a wall during a row with residents of a residential street in Stowmarket has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Tia Billman was seen by shocked residents of Hill Rise to drive her silver MG down the road and hit two cars before becoming wedged between another car and some steps, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Billman, 29, of Gainsborough Road, Stowmarket, admitted careless driving in Hill Rise, Stowmarket, on July 9, 2016, and an offence of affray.

She was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months to run consecutively to an existing suspended sentence imposed in June last year for an offence of assault.

She was also given a ten-day rehabilitation activity requirement, a £200 fine and a six month driving ban.

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Sentencing her, Judge John Devaux said it was possible the fault for what happened in July 2016 didn’t lie entirely on her side.

“There is no evidence of further problems between you and residents of the road in question,” said the judge.

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He said the offences had been committed in July 2016 and for a variety of reasons the case had taken two years to reach a conclusion.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said that at about 6.30pm on July 9, 2016, Billman had driven into Hill Rise and some people had jumped out in front of her car resulting in Billman making contact with one of them.

A group of people surrounded her car and Billman had driven forward and collided with a Renault Megane before reversing into a Peugeot 206.

She had then driven towards a house in the road and had ended up being wedged between steps to the property and another vehicle.

A wall was also damaged during the incident, said Mr Wilson.

Billman later told police she had been attacked and was acting in self-defence.

Edward Renvoize, for Billman, said his client had been told one of the people at a house in Hill Rise had been “bad-mouthing” her and she wanted to deal with the matter.

“It spiralled out of control and not all the parties were entirely blameless, but she is alone in court,” said Mr Renvoize.

He said Billman was the primary carer for her children and suffered from anxiety.

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