Van ram man given a ban

AN angry motorist who rammed his friend’s van after a row has been banned from driving and been told he was close to going to jail.

Jonathon Dobson, 29, drove into a combo van with his Land Rover after a bust-up, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Dobson had loaned his Land Rover Defender to pals Aaron and Darren Dixon to go fishing the previous day.

But there was a problem with the vehicle when they returned it.

Prosecuting, Rebecca Brown said there was an angry phone call between Dobson and Aaron Dixon over the damage during which Dobson said: “I’m going to ram you.”

The two brothers went back to Alloa Grove, Hartlepool, to talk about the damage.

Miss Brown said: “As the Dixons turned into Alloa Grove the defendant set off at speed, drove straight towards them and rammed their vehicle.”

After the collision on January 7 last year, Aaron Dixon said Dobson drove towards him, forcing him to jump behind a parked car.

Dobson, of Alloa Grove, was convicted of dangerous driving and criminal damage after a two-day trial last month.

Chris Rose, mitigating, said: “On the basis of the jury’s verdict, this was a rash and foolish act and one which is going to cost this man dear.”

Mr Rose said the loss of Dobson’s licence will affect his ability to work in the building trade and run a deli with his partner.

He added: “Ordinarily, he is someone who is hard working, provides for his family, and does not commit offences.”

Dobson was banned from driving for 18 months. He was also given six months prison which was suspended for two years, as well as 18 months probation.

Judge Gillian Matthews QC said: “It is irrelevant whether your former friends had wrecked your car or not, and whether it caused you to feel wronged.

“You cannot use your car as a weapon on the public road.

“I don’t want to see this sort of conduct again.

“You made a serious mistake when you lost your temper, revved your engine and drove at your former friends.”

Judge Matthews said she could avoid sending him straight to prison because no one was badly hurt and it did not happen on a busy road.