A ‘surge of rage’ following a near miss led a van driver to deliberately drive at another man on a Coventry car park and then chase him wielding a hammer.
And Norman Brown was told by a judge at Warwick Crown Court: “You could easily have run him over and killed him.”
Brown (52) of Marina Close, Canley, Coventry, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and threatening a person with an offensive weapon.
He was jailed for a total of two-and-a-half years after Judge Barry Berlin had watched a shocking CCTV recording of the incident on the car park of the Go Outdoors store.
The trigger was a ‘near miss’ between Timothy Ford’s car as he arrived for work at the store on the Coventry Business Park on the afternoon of November 13 last year and Brown’s Renault van.
And Judge Berlin told Brown: “The surge of rage that must have followed must have been immense, and you followed Timothy Ford into the Go Outdoors car park because you were angry.”
Describing the CCTV recording, the judge said: “You saw him get out of his car, and you deliberately drove your van at him at speed.
“He jumped out of the way just in time, but the van clipped his hip and shoulder.
“You then got out of your van and got a hammer out of the back of the van and ran at him twice with the hammer raised in a threatening manner.
“I have seen footage of you running at him at some speed to get to him as he ran away.”
The recording showed that after Brown first gave up the chase and turned away, Mr Ford slowed to a walk, only for Brown to chase after him again, still brandishing the hammer.
The court heard that in a statement following the incident, Mr Ford said: “He attacked me for no or little reason at my place of work. It worries me that he might come back.”
Brown was jailed for 16 months for the dangerous driving, with a consecutive 14-month sentence for threatening Mr Ford with the hammer, and was banned from driving for five years and three months.
Judge Berlin told him: “The aggravating features of the dangerous driving are obvious – you deliberately aimed the van at the victim. You could easily have run him over and killed him.
“You have previous convictions for offences of reckless driving and assault and affray, although you have had no convictions for the past 11 years.”
Urging the judge to pass a suspended sentence, Lisa Hancox, defending, had pointed out that Brown was the sole carer for his wife and his daughter-in-law who would be in difficulty if he was jailed.
But the judge told Brown: “I recognise the difficulties your family are in as a result of your stupidity, but you have brought that on yourself.
“Anyone who comes in front of the court for a road-rage situation, and not only that but takes it to another level by taking a hammer out of the car, must expect a custodial sentence.”