Driver jailed for ramming pregnant woman's car - Hitchin

17/02/2017

An irate driver, who terrified a pregnant mother when he deliberately rammed her car three times, has today, Friday, 17 February 2017, been jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for 3 years.

Paul Fowell, who is registered disabled, was told by a Judge: "Your appalling driving caused undoubted terror to the lady in question, who was pregnant and had her baby daughter with her."

Judge Philip Bartle QC said the case was so serious that he could not suspend the sentence despite Fowell's obvious physical difficulties, and lack of any previous motoring convictions.

Fowell, aged 46, of Alexander Gate, Stevenage pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to dangerous driving on the A602 on 30 October 2015.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said the events happened on the outskirts of Hitchin where the dual carriageway ends and traffic has to merge into one lane. The woman was driving a VW Polo with her 10-month-old daughter strapped into a car seat, and she was in the early stages of pregnancy. Fowell was in a Vauxhall Frontera, with a woman passenger, said the prosecutor. "She had changed lanes and then became aware of a car being driven very close to the rear of her car, flashing his lights and making hand gestures towards her. She tried to concentrate on her driving, but he pulled out so that he was level with her and rammed the offside of her car while they were both moving. Then he pulled away slightly and rammed her a second time. She was both shocked and frightened and decided to pull onto the hard shoulder and checked on the safety of her daughter."

The court was then told that she noticed he had stopped further up the road, and when she drove by him he pulled out and followed her again, beeping his horn and flashing his lights. At the Three Moorhens roundabout he pulled up on her near side and deliberately rammed the car again, and then drove off.

Another motorist, who witnessed the events, went to her aid, and followed behind her as she drove home to Hitchin in case there were any further problems. Police were alerted and given Fowell's registration number. When he was arrested he claimed the woman had cut him up and as he braked sharply his brakes locked and he unintentionally collided with her. He also said he stopped his car so they could exchange details. He followed her when she did not stop and at the roundabout his car "somehow" made contact with hers.

The woman told police that almost a year after the events she still did not feel safe driving.

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