Drunk man crashed into crowd in beer garden after getting kicked out of pub

A pubgoer who ploughed his car into a crowd outside his local after getting thrown out for brawling has been jailed for more than three years.

Gavin Chesterman, 31, had been escorted out of the Royal Oak in Pontypool, Wales, in January last year after coming to blows with another punter, Luke Palmer.

He then returned in his Vauxhall Astra and drove at Mr Palmer who was now standing outside with a group of people.

CCTV footage shows Mr Palmer leaping out of the way at the last second, after which a woman facing the other way behind him is struck by Chesterman’s car and forced underneath it.

Despite his car coming to a stop as it hit the railings around the beer garden, Chesterman ‘was still revving the engine and a witness got the impression that he was trying to move the car’, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Jason Howells told Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court : ‘Others then smashed the passenger window to get at the keys.

‘There was a brief scuffle with those around the defendant before he ran off.’

The woman was taken to hospital but was not seriously injured despite the ferocity of the blow.

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Chesterman, of Trevethin, Pontypool, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and dangerous driving.

The judge, Recorder Greg Bull KC, told him: ‘You drove in a dangerous and outrageous manner.

‘Whatever your grievance against Mr Palmer, that was no excuse for you going into your car in a drunken state, driving it without its lights illuminated and then driving it quite deliberately at Mr Palmer intending to inflict really serious harm on him.

‘If you had hit him and he’d died, you would have been charged with murder.

‘As it is, the terrifying act of driving that car at speed as is evidenced from the CCTV footage towards Mr Palmer, caused him to jump out of the way but sadly the car collided with Lauren Bull and also caused another pedestrian to also jump out of the way sustaining injury.

‘You drove at a crowd of people as the CCTV shows and it is remarkable that nobody was more seriously injured than they were.

‘This was deliberate, there was a small degree of planning and as you drove towards the gathering, the lights of the car were off and as has been admitted you had an intention to cause really serious harm to Mr Palmer.

‘Mercifully, not really serious harm was the result.’

Chesterman was jailed for a total of 40 months and banned from driving for five years.

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