York & North Yorkshire

Selby's Benjamin Allerton jailed for driving at campers

A man who drove into the tent of two teenagers who were camping has been jailed for four years.

Benjamin Allerton, 25 of Millgate, Selby, had admitted two counts of grievous bodily harm to the boy, 16, and a 13-year-old girl.

His actions followed a drunken argument with friends of the pair in March, York Crown Court was told.

In addition to the four-year jail term, Allerton was banned from driving for 18 months.

'Seconds to run'

In sentencing him, Judge Michael Mettyear told Allerton: "You drove round deliberately seeking out those you could catch in an open field and you struck two people.

"It was good luck, not judgment, that the injuries were not worse."

The court was told that before the crash the defendant, a landscape gardener, had joined about 15 young people who were drinking in a field between York Road and the River Ouse in Barlby, on 11 March.

A fight broke out when Allerton tried to put his arm around a 13-year-old girl.

After being punched by a male teenager he was told to go home.

The prosecution told the court he then drove around Selby hatching a plan "to flatten the camp" before returning.

Allerton drove across the field at about 30mph but missed the tents, veering head-on into a riverbank before turning round.

Witnesses said he had shouted words to the effect of "You've got five seconds to run".

Allerton, who ploughed into a tent after taking another run-up, drove at the injured pair as they fled.

'Absolutely terrified'

The girl received bruises to her limbs but was not seriously hurt.

However, Allerton ran over the boy's arm and shoulder causing fractures, which required surgery.

The court was told Allerton was about twice the drink-drive limit when he was breathalysed the next morning.

In mitigation, Damian Nolan, defending, told the court that Allerton's behaviour changed after he was assaulted in 2009 and he had suffered post-concussion disorder which can affect mood and aggression.

"His family has been consistent in saying there has been a sea-change in his behaviour since that assault," Mr Dolan said.

However, Judge Mettyear said that whilst post-concussion disorder may have played a part, it was alcohol-fuelled anger that provoked an "absolutely terrifying ordeal for the two young victims".

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