Man drove car at home of girlfriend

A MAN has been jailed after he drove his car at his girlfriend’s house and sent pieces of garden wall flying through the window.

Lee Darby, 24, aimed his Vauxhall Astra at Stevie Brackstone’s house after an argument with her.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he accelerated before mounting the kerb and demolishing part of the front garden wall of the house in Wynyard Road, Hartlepool.

The incident happened shortly after Darby had gone around to Miss Brackstone’s house following an earlier argument.

She was watching television in the early hours of May 23 with friends when Darby arrived and shouted to be let in.

One of Miss Brackstone’s guests let Darby in through a window. But he left after an argument with Miss Brackstone and she told him to get out.

He returned later on.

Rod Hunt, prosecuting, said: “Miss Brackstone looked outside and saw Darby sitting in the driver’s seat of an orange Vauxhall Astra she knew to be his.

“Within seconds the vehicle accelerated, causing a loud noise and drove towards her house. It mounted the kerb, colliding with the front garden wall.

“Neighbours heard the sound of a crash. A police officer who attended very shortly afterwards said pieces of wall were inside the house having gone through the windows.”

Luckily Miss Brackstone was upstairs at the time, and was not injured.

Darby ran away and was arrested a short time later.

He denied being the driver, but his blood was found on an airbag which activated during the crash.

Darby was subject to an eight-week suspended prison sentence imposed just a month earlier for driving while disqualified.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and an offence of damaging property which related to a window he broke in a previous domestic incident.

Andrew Rutter, mitigating, said the relationship had been “passionate” but also tempestuous.

He said; “He realises, as does she, that the relationship was destructive and has to come to an end.”

Referring to the driving, Mr Rutter added: “Fortunately it was but for a matter of seconds that the offence occurred and led to the damage.”

Darby, of Ridley Court, Hartlepool, was given 12 months prison for the dangerous driving as well as eight weeks when the suspended sentence was activated.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and made the subject of a restraining order against Miss Brackstone.

Judge Howard Crowson said: “This was very dangerous. You drove the car there in order to do this very thing.

“Fortunately people had moved upstairs by then, and on-one was harmed by what was a quite awful piece of driving.”