Driver ac­quit­ted of bid to in­jure a pedes­trian

Thor­ley, 22, could still be jailed over other charges

Hinckley Times - - FRONT PAGE - SUZY GIB­SON hinck­ley­times@reach­plc.com

A MO­TORIST has been cleared by a jury of de­lib­er­ately driv­ing at a pedes­trian with the in­ten­tion of in­jur­ing him.

Scott Thor­ley, 23, was ac­quit­ted of in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent upon Jon Pot­ter, who shouted an in­sult at him when he drove by at speed.

It hap­pened as Mr Pot­ter was cross­ing Kirkby Road, Bar­well, on the night of Jan­uary 21.

Le­ices­ter Crown Court was told that Thor­ley screeched to a halt in his sil­ver Ford Fi­esta and quickly re­versed, be­fore col­lid­ing with two parked cars that Mr Pot­ter, 28, was stand­ing be­tween.

The prose­cu­tion al­leged it was a de­lib­er­ate act with the in­ten­tion of caus­ing in­jury.

Thor­ley, of By­ron Street, Bar­well, de­nied the of­fence say­ing he had driven back to re­mon­strate with Mr Pot­ter, whom he did not know.

He claimed he lost control and ac­ci­den­tally struck a Mit­subishi and an As­tra, which caused the vic­tim to suf­fer frac­tures to his knee and right hand, torn lig­a­ments and a con­tu­sion to one of his lungs, as well as cuts and bruis­ing.

Thor­ley told the jury he was sorry for what hap­pened and never in­tended caus­ing the in­juries. He ac­cepted that after the crash he drove off in panic.

He set his car on fire and falsely re­ported the ve­hi­cle had been stolen.

You’ve been ac­quit­ted of a grave of­fence, but the of­fences you’ve pleaded guilty to are se­ri­ous, said Judge

Thor­ley also gave the po­lice a false alibi. The jury was told the de­fen­dant had ear­lier pleaded guilty to caus­ing Mr Pot­ter se­ri­ous in­jury by danger­ous driv­ing and con­spir­acy to per­vert the course of jus­tice after cov­er­ing his tracks after the crash. Dur­ing the trial, the vic­tim’s fa­ther, John Pot­ter Snr, told the jury he was walk­ing home with his son, at about 10.30pm, after they had been out drink­ing. He de­scribed hear­ing his son shout­ing some­thing as the Fi­esta went by at speed and then saw the car re­verse to where his son was stand­ing, de­scrib­ing it as “sur­real” and “shock­ing”. The vic­tim had no rec­ol­lec­tion of the col­li­sion and did not give ev­i­dence in court.

Gary Short, de­fence coun­sel, told the jury in his clos­ing speech: “He re­versed too fast. It was a tragic ac­ci­dent borne out of a stupid piece of driv­ing.

“He was in­tend­ing to have it out with Mr Pot­ter, to have an ex­change of words, which is a mil­lion miles from driv­ing di­rectly into him.

“He says he was an­noyed (by the com­ment shouted as he drove by).

“He lost control and crashed, then he pan­icked, drove off, burnt the car and told lies – be­cause he needed his driv­ing li­cence to get to work and was wor­ried about in­creased insurance.”

After the ver­dict, Judge Ni­cholas Dean QC ad­journed the hear­ing for sen­tenc­ing on the other of­fences Thor­ley had ad­mit­ted in re­la­tion to the same in­ci­dent.

He im­posed an in­terim driv­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The judge re­leased Thor­ley on bail and said: “You’ve been ac­quit­ted of a grave of­fence, but the of­fences you’ve pleaded guilty to are se­ri­ous.

“You must un­der­stand you may very well face a sen­tence of im­pris­on­ment, that’s an op­tion that will be open to the court.”

WRECKED: Thor­ley set fire to his car in bid to cover his tracks

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