Van driver reversed over woman and brandished 'sword' in Hartlepool's Hourglass pub car park
A van driver who reversed over a woman in a pub car park during a fracas when he brandished a large blade has been jailed for three and a half years.
Michael Hutchinson, 26, caused significant injuries to the victim including a fractured skull and wrist when he backed over her in his Ford Transit outside The Hourglass pub on Eaglesfield Road, Hartlepool, on Sunday, June 10.
It happened after Hutchinson had tried to get inside the pub while armed with what was described as a sword.
The victim and her brother tried to hold a door shut and Hutchinson returned to his van before a number of people, including the victim, went outside into the car park.
There was shouting between Hutchinson and a man just before the incident.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “All of a sudden the defendant placed the van in reverse gear and reversed at speed in the direction of the victim.
“She realised what was happening at the last minute and put up her arm to protect herself.
“The defendant reversed straight into her. He reversed over her legs.
“Having hit her the defendant drove off at speed from the area.”
The victim lost consciousness and also suffered significant damage to her knee which the court heard may never heal.
In a statement she said: “He’s ruined my life. I’m no longer the person I was before the incident.”
Miss Masters added the victim suffers flashbacks saying: “She thinks she could easily have been killed by this incident and her kids were not going to have a mother.”
Hutchinson, of Nebworth Court, Ingleby Barwick, was arrested five days later. He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and threatening with a blade.
Matthew Collins, mitigating, said his client panicked when his van was surrounded by the group of people.
Mr Collins said: “He’s very, very remorseful about the injuries that he’s caused.”
He said Hutchinson was not using the van as a weapon adding: “He didn’t speed away from the scene knowing he had hit somebody.”
Recorder Patrick Palmer said: “You have seriously affected her life. It’s a very serious offence which you have committed
“It seems to me the way you drove that vehicle you had a flagrant disregard for anyone around you at the time.”
Hutchinson was banned from driving for 45 months.