Sen­tence cut for man who rammed fam­ily car

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Telegraph -

A MAN who was jailed for a road rage in­ci­dent near Peter­bor­ough which ter­ri­fied a young fam­ily will be free within a month, af­ter ap­peal judges cut his sen­tence.

Iain Alexan­der Fitz­patrick (35), of Beachill Cres­cent in Haver­croft, Wake­field, was jailed for 15 months at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court in Fe­bru­ary af­ter ad­mit­ting dan­ger­ous driv­ing in con­nec­tion with the in­ci­dent on Oc­to­ber 24, 2008, at the Had­don Ser­vice Sta­tion on the A1 near Peter­bor­ough.

Daniel Hand and his fam­ily had parked at the ser­vices and, re­turn­ing to their car, found Fitz­patrick had parked his car very close to it. While try­ing to get into his car, Mr Hand may have struck Ftiz­patrick’s ve­hi­cle with his car door – prompt­ing Fitz­patrick to try to block the Hands’ exit from the ser­vices and then chase them onto the A1.

Mr Hand feared he would be forced off the road, so took an exit into Peter­bor­ough only for Fitz­patrick to reap­pear and ram the rear driver’s side of the Hands’ car, where a baby was sit­ting.

Mrs Hand threat­ened to call po­lice and Fitz­patrick left, but called 999 him­self, claim­ing that he had been the vic­tim of a hit-and-run at the ser­vice sta­tion.

He ini­tially de­nied the of­fence, but lat- er ad­mit­ted some­thing must have hap­pened, claim­ing he could not re­mem­ber be­cause he had felt un­well.

Sen­tenc­ing him, the crown court judge said he would have re­ceived 18 months if he had not pleaded guilty.

But to­day, in a hear­ing at the Court of Ap­peal in London, Mr Jus­tice Gross and Judge Christo­pher Moss QC, slashed his term to 10 months.

As he will serve no more than half of that be­fore re­lease on li­cence, Fitz­patrick will be back on the streets be­fore the end of next month.

Mr Jus­tice Gross said that, de­spite the se­ri­ous­ness of his con­duct, the sen­tence passed was out of the range which this sort of crime should re­ceive.

Mr Jus­tice Gross said: “We take all the mat­ters into ac­count, but, hav­ing done so, we have no doubt that Fitz­patrick’s fool­hardy ac­tions am­ply mer­ited an im­me­di­ate cus­to­dial sen­tence.

“We say noth­ing to min­imise the dan­ger­ous­ness of his driv­ing. He had ev­ery chance to walk away from the in­ci­dent or, if he had felt ag­grieved, to call the po­lice him­self.”

He added that, when looked at in the light of guide­lines for such of­fences, the 15-month term was “sim­ply too high” and would be re­duced to 10 months.

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