Judge allows dangerous driver to walk free after hearing how neighbours made his life “hell”
- Credit: Archant
A FATHER of three who knocked down a man with his car walked free from court after the judge heard his life had been “made hell” by neighbours for years.
David Crockford, 48, of Trafford Estate, West Walton, was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention and possessing an offensive weapon.
Andrew Oliver, prosecuting, said in November last year Crockford had difficulty in getting down the drive in his car because two men were waiting there.
One man jumped out in front of Crockford, who swerved to avoid him but hit a second man at minimal speed who briefly clung to his bonnet.
Mr Oliver said the Crown accepted Crockford did not drive deliberately at the man, but added the driving had clearly fallen below the standard of a competent driver in that the defendant accepted his foot slipped, had the opportunity of braking but didn’t.
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Crockford then took from his boot a metal pole he had put in there to protect him or his family and pointed it at both men.
Sentencing Crockford, Judge Stephen Holt said: “It’s quite apparent that your life has been made hell by the neighbours who were close to you.
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“You bought the house in the hope and expectation to provide a decent home for your children to be brought up in.”
Speaking after the case Crockford, who moved to the Trafford Estate in November 2007, said: “The children on the estate ride motorbikes around the house and on the dirt track at all hours of the day.
“They threaten my family and me. My youngest son was once punched.
“This court case has devastated my family. For the past five and a half months the children have thought that their father was going to prison.
“One of my children found drugs in a field one day and I called police so there was a raid on the estate. “After that our lives were made a living hell.”
A Trafford Estate resident said there was a personality clash between Crockford and neighbours.
He said: “Every time the children played on their motorbikes he moaned.
“He told us he moved here for a peaceful life but why would you move to a council estate? Every house here has children so he was never going to get peace and quiet.
“I would tell the children not to ride early at the weekends and to respect the neighbours but he is not going to stop everyone having fun.”