Road rage driver smashed into car carrying couple and child in Plymouth
A MAN took his sister’s car while she went shopping and pushed another driver after their vehicles collided, a court heard.
Uninsured Merle Leaman, aged 41, tried to goad the man into a fight during a road rage incident, Plymouth magistrates were told.
He walked away from the scene, where the stranger’s car was written off, and tried to fight off a policeman who was attempting to arrest him.
Leaman, of Duncombe Avenue, Honicknowle, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and failing to stop after an accident on February 12.
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He also pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and resisting a police officer on the same day.
Magistrates, having read a probation report on his background, gave him an 18-month community order under the service’s supervision.
He will have to do the Thinking Skills programme.
The bench also banned him from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay the other driver £300 compensation.
Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Leaman’s sister left him in the Micra with the keys in the ignition while she went into the Tesco store in Crownhill. Mrs Furniss said Leaman drove the car to Whitleigh where he crashed into an oncoming Volkswagen Golf containing a couple and their eight-year-old son in Derby Road. Mrs Furniss said driver Michelle Barnard described how the Micra came down the hill at a point where there was no room for both cars to pass. The court heard the Micra started to brake but collided with the Golf. Nobody was hurt.Mrs Furniss said Golf passenger Christopher Barnard remonstrated with Leaman but the defendant pushed him several times.
She added: “Mrs Barnard said the defendant went up to her husband and put his face really close. He then pushed her husband several times in the chest and said: ‘Do you know who I am? I have been to prison’.”
Mrs Furniss said Leaman left the scene but was tracked down by police. She added he struggled and swore at the officer before he was overpowered at Whitleigh Bridge.
The court heard he had nine previous convictions for 21 offences.
Leaman, representing himself, said: “I am sorry, I take responsibility for what happened. I have been out of trouble for seven years and I have dealt with my drug problem and come a long way in that time.”