Man ran over landlord following heated parking dispute in ‘shocking set of events’
PUBLISHED: 12:48 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:48 28 October 2020
A man ran over his neighbour’s landlord following a heated argument about parking in, what police are calling, a “shocking set of events”.
Robert Skilton of Green Street in March drove his car into the landlord, leaving him in hospital for five days with fractured bones and bruises.
The 62-year-old first began arguing with the landlord on July 10 last year when building work began at his block of flats.
Skilton complained that workmen at the neighbouring flats were blocking his vehicle access and demanded that the works vehicle was removed immediately.
A court heard how the landlord told Skilton that the van would be moved when they had finished unloading, but he still remained angry.
At 12.22pm, he visited March Police Station where he spoke with the enquiry officer.
He made a complaint about the work and insisted the matter was resolved by police.
The enquiry officer logged the complaint, but Skilton left the station stating that if police didn’t sort it he would “get a few mates to”.
Less than 15 minutes later, at 12.35pm, the landlord Skilton had argued with called police on 101 to report the earlier dispute.
However, while still on the phone at 12.47pm, the man announced Skilton had come back in his car.
Almost immediately the call was ended just after the sound of smashing and a scream.
Officers and paramedics attended and Skilton was arrested in his flat with the car keys. On his arrest he told officers “it wasn’t deliberate”.
The victim told police he was sat on the bench near the side of the driveway at the block of flats when Skilton accelerated towards him.
He said the next thing he remembered was being under the car.
As a result of the collision the man suffered a fracture to his forearm and breastbone, as well as soft tissue and bruising to many other areas of his body.
Detective Sergeant Phil Booty said: “This was a shocking set of events by Skilton, who maintained running over his victim was simply an accident.
“His behaviour was unacceptable and no-one deserves for this to happen to them.
“I hope the sentence imposed in this case and the restraining order gives the victim some closure from what clearly was a horrific incident.”
In police interview, Skilton denied being aggressive over the parking issue.
He claimed his hand slipped on the wheel when trying to park at the block of flats, and instead of hitting the break he hit the accelerator.
He admitted being first aid trained, but when asked by officers why he didn’t help the victim, he said he was in shock.
Skilton was charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and assault by beating.
He stood trial over three days from September 22 at Peterborough Crown Court, where jurors took less than an hour to find him guilty of the lesser offence of GBH without intent.
He was found not guilty of assault by beating, which related to an alleged earlier dispute with the same victim.
Skilton was sentenced at the same court last Wednesday, October 21 where Judge Matthew Lowe handed him 16 months in prison.
Sentencing Skilton, Judge Lowe said using a vehicle to frighten someone after a dispute was so serious that the only appropriate punishment was an immediate custodial sentence.
Skilton was also handed a 10-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting or approaching the victim.
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