Road rage crash driver jailed - East Herts

26/09/2014

Road rage driver Daniel Crowdy was jailed for 18 months today, Friday, 26 September 2014, after crashing his van into a car with such force that it overturned and ended up on its roof.

Crowdy, aged 36, was high on drink and drugs when he smashed the Astra van into the back of a Ford Fiesta on a slip off the northbound A10 in East Herts. The Fiesta driver, Jordan Branch, was trapped inside by his arm. His passenger, Lloyd Fordham, managed to get out of the car and smashed a window to free him, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Words had been exchanged between Crowdy and the men in the Fiesta after his van had blocked a road leading onto the A10 at the Brookfield Centre on Good Friday. Crowdy forced the Fiesta to do an emergency stop and threw an empty coke can at the car as it drove off in the inside lane. He overtook the Fiesta on the main road, but when he saw it head off at The Links junction  he swerved across the chevrons, close to the verge, and followed the car before hitting it on the back.

Both men in the Fiesta were taken to Harlow hospital. Mr Branch suffered chest, back and rib pain as well as disturbed sleep. He had six days off work. Mr Fordham, who works as a scaffolder, coughed up blood and had a tender area around his chest. He was off work for a month.

After the crash, Crowdy continued to drive on before stopping and abandoning the van on a kerb. He called the police to say his  van had been stolen, making a statement to officers. But he was identified as the driver after a video parade at the police station and was arrested.

Crowdy of Crossfield Road, Hoddesdon pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on 18 April this year and perverting the course of justice. He was cleared by a jury of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to  Mr Branch and scaffolder Mr Fordham. He had 41 previous convictions for 149 offences.

Andrew Kerry, defending, said his client understood he faced a jail sentence. He said he had been diagnosed with a personality disorder and post traumatic stress, having been severely beaten up 10 years ago. He said he was asking for help for his conditions. Since being remanded in custody, he was described by the curate at the jail as an "exemplary prisoner." Mr Kerry said Crowdy was extremely remorseful and had written a long letter to the judge apologising. He said the cause of his problems was drug and alcohol abuse. "He doesn't blame anyone else, but needs help," he said.

Judge Marie Catterson told Crowdy: "You deliberately drove at the car. It was aggravated to a significant degree because you were intoxicated by drink and drugs and made off after the collision." She said he had also been guilty of a blatant case of perverting the course of justice.

He was jailed for 12 months for the dangerous driving and a further 6 months for perverting the cause of justice. The judge also banned him from driving for 4 years and ordered him to take an extended test before he regains his licence.

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