Van driver jailed for driving at slow motorist - Dunstable

22/11/2013

A van driver has been jailed for four years for deliberately driving at another motorist, who he thought was driving too slowly in front of him.

Alex Khan was also banned from driving for ten years after a Judge said he was "unsafe to be behind a wheel."

Judge Richard Foster said Khan was fortunate that his victim, Edward Poulton, was not more seriously injured after being catapulted into a ditch by the impact. He said he could have been facing a murder charge if the consequences of his dangerous driving had been different.

Khan, 26, of Millers Way, Houghton Regis, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to using a vehicle to cause injury and failing to stop after an accident.

Prosecutor George Heimler told the court on Friday, 22 November 2013, that Mr Poulton, his wife and a 14-year-old child were in the Ford Focus on 28 December last year. Khan was driving a Mercedes van for work, and was returning from Thriplow to his depot in Dunstable. He came up behind Mr Poulton on the B4540 heading towards the A5.

"The van was very close behind, and stayed behind him as they turned on to the A5. Mrs Poulton was so concerned she was on the phone to police," said Mr Heimler.

"Then the van started to overtake and the victim felt a nudge as if there had been some contact. He stopped in a slip road to inspect his vehicle and thought the van driver was stopping to exchange details. But instead he drove quite deliberately at him and he was thrown into a ditch and then the van drove off."

When Khan was arrested he said the car in front was going very slowly, but when he tried to overtake, it sped up. He claimed that the other driver stopped and when he drove by the other driver kicked out at the van.

Mr Poulton suffered bruising and swelling and a fractured wrist that was put in plaster.

Karen Walton, defending said: "His actions were appalling to say the least, but he has a plethora of personal difficulties. He is ashamed and appalled at what he did. He acts impulsively without understanding the ramifications."

Judge Foster said: "This is a difficult case, but the incident must have been very traumatic for the victim, who must have thought his life was coming to an end in those few seconds."

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