BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:34 GMT
'Irritated' man drove at hunters
Robert Wilson
Robert Wilson is almost deaf and suffers chronic breathing difficulties
A man of 82 who accelerated his car into a hunt gathering has been given a three-year driving ban and a 400 fine.

Robert Wilson, from Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, revved his engine and accelerated down a narrow village lane where three hunts were meeting in 2006.

He had previously admitted a charge of dangerous driving and another of failing to stop after an accident.

The Swansea Crown Court judge said his driving arose out of an "unfounded irritation" with hunt members.

The pensioner, who is almost completely deaf and suffers chronic breathing difficulties, appeared for sentencing on Friday.

Frank Phillips, prosecuting, said the incident had happened in November last year in the village of Cilycwm in Carmarthenshire.

His deteriorating health would have made his driving in the future a questionable activity anyway
Patrick Griffiths, defending

"There were 40 horses and children spread along the street. It was a busy morning," Mr Phillips said.

"It is clear it is a narrow street with cars and trailers parked along both sides of the road."

He said Wilson was driving a silver Volvo along the lane and "appeared to be forcing its way through the crowd revving the engine and appeared to be approaching close to several people".

Mr Phillips said that Edward Keer, who was part of the hunt, felt he was driving towards him "showing no respect to people or horses".

As a result he decided to act by standing in the road to stop Wilson in his tracks.

Hunt saboteurs

"He stood in the road to stop the car in the interests of public safety. His wife was also on a horse," Mr Phillips said.

"But he realised that the vehicle was not going to stop."

He said that Mr Keer was forced to dive for cover as the car accelerated and sped on without stopping.

The court heard somebody who recognised Wilson later phoned him at home and warned he was going to report him to the police.

"The defendant then threatened him with hunt saboteurs," Mr Phillips said.

Wilson went to Carmarthen police station on 11 December, 2006 where he was arrested.

Considerable punishment

Patrick Griffiths, defending, said Wilson had already been given an interim driving ban and understood the effect it would have.

"His deteriorating health would have made his driving in the future a questionable activity anyway.

"But the order of a disqualification in itself will be a very considerable punishment," Mr Griffiths.

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Morton said: "Your manner of driving was dangerous and arose out of a wholly unfounded irritation with members of the hunt and people in the road.

"The public interest does not require a prison sentence, though you drove at a person. But I have road safety very much in mind.

"The appropriate sentence in my mind is a 400 fine plus a ban from driving for three years.

"I bear in mind that this is probably a lifetime ban because of your health."



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific