Roofer killed by venge­ful driver who rammed van

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ross McCarthy Court Cor­re­spon­dent

ADRIVER who killed a roofer when he rammed his van off the road in a road rage at­tack in Birm­ing­ham has been jailed for eight years.

An­dre Thomas was driv­ing at 60mph when he col­lided with the van in King­stand­ing Road, King­stand­ing, caus­ing it to plough into a tree.

Van driver Danny died from his in­juries.

Thomas, 31, of Cradley Croft, Handsworth, ad­mit­ted caus­ing the death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing and two charges of caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

As well as be­ing jailed, Thomas was also banned from the roads for 11 and a half years.

He had been ac­quit­ted of mur­der, man­slaugh­ter and two charges of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent fol­low­ing a trial at Birm­ing­ham Crown Court.

An­drew Smith QC, pros­e­cut­ing, said Mr Blount had met ear­lier with Adrian Clarke and Wayne John­son at the Golden Hind pub in King­stand­ing on April 25 and there had been an al­ter­ca­tion be­tween them and Thomas.

Af­ter­wards Mr Blount sped off in the van with Mr Clarke and Mr John­son, pur­sued by the de­fen­dant in a Honda. Both pas­sen­gers in the van were also se­ri­ously in­jured as a re­sult of the col­li­sion, with Mr Blount, 31, Clarke suf­fer­ing brain dam­age. In pass­ing sen­tence, Judge Paul Far­rer QC said that dur­ing the ear­lier in­ci­dent Mr Clarke had at­tacked Thomas with a weapon, prob­a­bly a base­ball bat.

He said: “You were en­raged and in­tent on some form of ret­ri­bu­tion.

“You pro­ceeded to pur­sue the van up the King­stand­ing Road for a dis­tance ap­proach­ing two thirds of a mile. You po­si­tioned your­self within feet and some­times within inches of the rear of the van and you re­peat­edly sought to un­der­take and over­take it. You were prob­a­bly frus­trated by your in­abil­ity to get past the van and you then pro­ceeded to drive in the back of the van on three oc­ca­sions.”

The judge said a wit­ness had heard the sound like “tin cans” as Thomas had “shunted” the van along the road. He said the de­fend- ant had then driven partly along­side of the van and Mr Blount had prob­a­bly been un­aware of this and had moved to his right to try and block Thomas.

“Trag­i­cally that caused a col­li­sion. The van span 180 de­grees and left the road,” he added.

In a state­ment Tina Blount, the vic­tim’s mother, said “As a fam­ily we are griev­ing the loss of an enor­mous char­ac­ter. Danny was a lov­ing, funny and bright per­son­al­ity who lit up a room.”

Tim­o­thy Raggatt, de­fend­ing, said “There were re­peated at­tempts by the van to block the car. That (the van) was be­ing driven by a man who was un­der the in­flu­ence of drink and drugs.

“There is a high de­gree of con­trib­u­tory neg­li­gence on the part of those in the van. They were the cat­a­lyst for the events.”

> Danny Blount, 31, who died

> Driver An­dre Thomas

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