Warning of jail term after 'road rage'

A TEENAGE road rage victim has revealed how he feared for his safety after his car was shunted from behind and then smashed into by an irate driver.Timothy Stone was subjected to the terrifying ordeal after he overtook a Land Rover driven by 57-year-old Roger Hartley, who was yesterday warned he could face a jail term after he was convicted of dangerous driving.

A TEENAGE road rage victim has revealed how he feared for his safety after his car was shunted from behind and then smashed into by an irate driver.

Timothy Stone was subjected to the terrifying ordeal after he overtook a Land Rover driven by 57-year-old Roger Hartley, who was yesterday warned he could face a jail term after he was convicted of dangerous driving.

Magistrates heard how Hartley, from Roost End, Sturmer, near Haverhill, had deliberately pulled up close behind Mr Stone's small Renault Clio car before shunting the vehicle from behind as he drove through the village of Chedburgh.

The frightened youngster pulled over to the side of the road but was then hit from behind by Hartley's vehicle with such a force that the hefty Land Rover careered over Mr Stone's bumper and crashed into the boot.


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Mr Stone, 18, a carpenter, told the court yesterday: “I was very shaken up after the accident. I just didn't know what to do at the time.

“A lot happened in a very short space in time - to this day I don't know why it happened.”

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The trouble flared when Mr Stone overtook Hartley's vehicle in the 60mph zone, just before Chedburgh. The court heard that the defendant then proceeded to pull up close behind the youngster as the pair entered the 30mph village.

Mr Stone said: “As I came into Chedburgh, I could see the Land Rover coming up behind me quite quickly. It got so close that it was a matter of inches away from my bumper.

“He backed off and then came close again repeatedly and then he came back and nudged me, enough to jolt the car. I was dropping the speed, it was the only thing I could think of.

“As I stopped, I looked over my shoulder and he put his foot down and smashed straight into the back of me.”

Gordon Sample, prosecuting, said: “The defendant's driving fell far below the standard of competence and careful driving. His driving was so dangerous, it was a case of road rage. The defendant behaved like a bully, driving a big vehicle behind a little Clio.”

Hartley, an IT manager, had pleaded not guilty to the offence - which took place on the A143 on June 30 - claming Mr Stone had overtaken him dangerously and then broke wildly in front of him.

The defendant admitted there had been a small accident as he attempted to turn off the road and clipped the Clio - but said he made every effort to exchange insurance details.

Magistrates in Sudbury yesterday adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports but warned Hartley prison was an option when he returned to court in Bury St Edmunds on December 1 for sentencing.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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