Berkshire

Driver 'had no intention to kill' cyclist he rammed in Reading

Police cordon
Image caption Mark Whittaker has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder

A driver who attacked a cyclist after ramming him with his car told jurors it "never" crossed his mind to kill him.

Mark Whittaker said he wanted to fight Darren Fordred because he had "ruined" his life, a court heard.

Mr Fordred suffered "catastrophic injuries" when Mr Whittaker mounted a pavement in his car and drove at his bike in Reading last year.

Mr Whittaker, of no fixed address, denies attempted murder, but has admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

He told the jury at Reading Crown Court he "wanted to meet and fight" Mr Fordred following a domestic row the pair had involving a former partner.

Mr Whittaker, 46, said he wanted to "confront" Mr Fordred who he thought he was "responsible" for a series of problems in his life.

The court heard the defendant had "sent a number of messages threatening to kill" Mr Fordred.

But Mr Whittaker, a disqualified driver, said he sent the messages because he "wanted a reaction" and "wanted to meet and fight him".

"Never once did it cross my mind that I wanted to kill Darren Fordred," he added.

'Cut his head off'

The previously heard said Mr Whittaker waited for Mr Fordred to cycle past him, then "deliberately drove" at him at about 32mph on 12 October.

Mr Fordred "smashed into the windscreen" as the car hit him, and both of his thigh bones "snapped", prosecutor Michael Roques said.

Mr Whittaker told the court he "did not think" Mr Fordred's injuries were "as bad as what they were".

"I didn't pay any attention to his legs. I wanted him to stand up and fight me," he added.

Mr Whittaker said he "never punched" but "slapped" Mr Fordred when he was on the ground.

Mr Roques questioned the defendant's intentions after the court heard he had said if he saw Mr Fordred in the street he would "cut his head off".

Mr Whittaker replied: "It was anger. It was a stupid phrase to use at the time. I had no intention to kill Darren."

The trial continues.

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