North East Wales

Driver Damien Smith jailed after deliberately ramming a man

A driver has been jailed for six years after deliberately ramming his car into his girlfriend's brother.

Damien Smith, 26, of Blacon, near Chester, caused Lee Stanley serious injury following a row in Buckley, Flintshire, in March last year.

Smith was convicted of wounding with intent by a jury at Mold Crown Court, sitting at Chester.

Judge Niclas Parry said Smith could have killed Mr Stanley.

Smith, formerly of Leeswood, near Mold, was said by one witness to be laughing as he sped away from the incident, the court heard.

Mr Stanley had been hurled up onto the bonnet of Smith's Ford Mondeo car.

The court was told that Mr Stanley was badly injured in the incident in Jubilee Court in Buckley, outside the home of his parents.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Rogers said Mr Stanley needed 18 stitches for a head injury and suffered seven broken ribs, a bruised lung and a fractured vertebrae in his neck.

Smith had denied both wounding and wounding with intent following the incident last year, claiming that Mr Stanley jumped onto a moving car in a bid to stop him driving away.

The trial heard there was ill-feeling over £100 that Mr Stanley, or his girlfriend, had loaned to Smith or his girlfriend.

'Lost all control'

It was claimed that Mr Stanley was standing in the road making "come on" motions towards Smith when he rammed into him.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Niclas Parry said that he had been convicted of an extremely serious matter.

"Let there be no doubt about it, you could have killed Mr Stanley. It is only by the grace of God that you didn't," he said.

Judge Parry said that he took into account the background and the fact that there was a degree of provocation.

"But this was a gross over-reaction. You were in a rage. You lost all control of your senses," added the judge.

In addition to the six-year sentence, Smith was disqualified from driving for three years.