A HIT-AND-RUN victim today relived the horror of being mowed down by a former friend while holding his nine-year-old daughter’s hand.
Mark Fenwick and his daughter Kaci Fenwick escaped serious injury after Nigel Cleckner, 39, revved his car engine, mounted the curb and drove at them.
Mark, 34, instinctively pushed young Kaci out of the way, while he took the full force of the collision, leaving him unconscious and with a broken elbow.
The potentially-fatal attack followed a feud between Cleckner and Mark’s families and saw Cleckner caged for four years at Teesside Crown Court.
A judge said he had to send Cleckner to prison as Mr Fenwick “could have lost a limb or even his life” and for the frightening ordeal he put his victim’s daughter through.
Despite the physical wounds of the attack healing, dad-of-five Mark told the Hartlepool Mail he is still having counselling to deal with the emotional effects.
“He’s locked up now and he’s doing the time he deserves to do,” he said.
“No-one can understand why he went for me. I also feel angry about what could have happened to the bairn.
“I’m just glad the bairn is alright, that’s all I thought as soon as I woke up on the floor that day with the police and ambulances all around me.
“At the time I wouldn’t get treated until I knew where she was. I was just panicking. Anyone who’s got kids will know what I mean.”
Mark, who is dad to three-year-old Harry and two-year-old Paige with his partner Beverley Knox, 24, as well as Kaithlinn, 14, Kaci and Holli, eight, from his previous marriage, was walking Kaci home along Beverley Way, Peterlee, when he was hit.
Mark, of Frankland Road, Peterlee, said: “He revved the engine and even mounted the curb.
“I can’t remember pushing Kaci out the way, but she says I just pushed her into the railings and obviously I just hit the floor and didn’t know anything.
“Apparently I was just laid there motionless.”
Cleckner struck Mark on the back of his right leg and he fell to the ground smashing his elbow, cracking a tooth and leaving him with bumps and grazes.
Student Mark, who is studying a diploma in animal management, said: “I’m glad it’s all over now.
“My family and my partner have been like a rock for me. Now I just want to get on with my life and I don’t want to dwell on all of this.”
Former Nissan worker Cleckner, of Grange Court, Shotton Colliery, was found guilty of dangerous driving and causing grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial at Teesside Crown Court last month.
Rosalind Scott Bell, mitigating, said Cleckner, a dad of one, still maintains his innocence over the incident on August 21 last year.
Judge Peter Fox said he accepted Cleckner did not try to run Mr Fenwick over, but deliver a “glancing blow”.
But he added: “The great seriousness of that attack was that you used your car – a potential lethal weapon.
“He could have lost a limb or even his life.
“It’s made worse by the awful fright that you gave his little daughter from which she continues to suffer.
“I have to send you to prison, you know that.”