A dangerous driver ran over a grandmother and carried her on his car bonnet for 58 metres after her son confronted him for killing a dog.
Russell Flynn, 41, carried out a hit and run in Cardiff on September 19 last year, which left Jan Agius with a fractured skull and her son Louis Thomas with broken hands.
Flynn became aggressive after running over a dog in Stanway Road, Ely, at around 4pm and tried to leave the scene. But after he was confronted by Mr Thomas, he drove at him at speed and carried him on the bonnet of his silver Mazda car before hitting Ms Agius who was also thrown onto the bonnet.
Mr Thomas rolled off the bonnet after travelling around 20 metres but Ms Agius was knocked unconscious when she came off the vehicle after travelling 58 metres.
On Thursday, at Cardiff Crown Court, Flynn, of Insole Grove West, Llandaff, was found guilty of two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was found not guilty of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Earlier in the day, Recorder Greg Bull QC summed up the trial, which began on Tuesday, March 9. Recounting tattoo artist Mr Thomas’s evidence, Recorder Bull said the victim was visiting his mother who lived in Stanway Road when he noticed a silver Mazda driving past and the driver was giving him a “filthy look”.
Dog owner Catherine Kelly was taking her Jack Russell dog Ludo out in the car but he ran across the road. She then heard a “loud” car driving at speed and tried to get the driver to stop but it was too late and he hit her dog, which was killed.
Having driven to the end road, Flynn was said to have left his car and gone into a house, before coming back out and getting into his vehicle again, and Mr Thomas said he walked to the middle of the road to stop him driving off.
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According to Recorder Bull’s summation of his evidence, Mr Thomas said: “I said: ‘You have just run over that dog’ but there was just aggression from him. I was in front of his car and he told me to f*** off from the front of his car. I was getting people to take a photograph of the car.
“By this time my mother and neighbours were out. I ignored the driver until he revved his car and he nudged me, trying to scare me. I was backed onto the car and when I turned around I said ‘What the f*** are you doing?’. He was shouting and screaming, he hit me and my mother and revved the car again. I slammed my arm on the bonnet.
“Next thing I know me and my mother are on the bonnet. My stomach and chest impacted on the bonnet and I held onto the windscreen wiper with my left hand. I was carried for 10-15 feet and the car was going faster and faster, he showed no care and no remorse.
“I came off the car and and damaged my hand and wrist, I fell off to try and save myself My mother’s body was still on the bonnet, he was driving erratically and carried her 50 metres. My mother was screaming and begging him to stop. He slammed the brakes down, she fell off and he sped off. I thought my mother was dead. Neighbours came to assist me and the ambulance was called.”
Recounting the evidence of Ms Agius, Recorder Bull said she had left her home after her grandson told her a dog had been run over, and was walking across the road to help a lady crouched down in a garden.
According to Recorder Bull’s summation, she said: “I was focusing on the lady and the next thing I was on the bonnet of the car. My son was also on the bonnet of the car . I begged the driver to stop the car. I held onto the windscreen wiper and shouted and screamed for him to stop but the car went fast towards Howell Road. The car was swerving and I was screaming and begging him to stop. I was aware my son had been thrown off the side of the car and I thought ‘I’m dead’.
“The speed of the car was fast when my son came off. I went halfway down the street and ended up on the floor. There were loads of people around me trying to wake me up. The paramedics came and took me to hospital. I was in intensive care.”
As a result of the incident, Ms Agius suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a fractured left leg caused when Flynn ran over her.
In a victim personal statement read to the court, Ms Agius said she had been left with “ongoing physical health problems” with near constant pain in her left leg. She now requires a leg brace and a walking stick.
She added: “I wish I could have a normal life again but I am just thankful to be here. I just think to myself why couldn’t he have stopped when I asked him to and this wouldn’t have happened.”
Mr Thomas suffered two broken hands and a broken wrist, which he said had caused great difficulties in his profession.
Recounting the evidence of Flynn, Recorder Bull said the defendant claimed he had wanted to give his details but became “threatened and intimidated” when people gathered round his car.
He also claimed Mr Thomas and Ms Agius jumped on his bonnet and attacked his car which caused him to drive off because he felt “scared”, but this was dismissed by the jury.
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In his sentencing remarks, Recorder Bull said: “You have shown no remorse at all. You ran a defence in which you put all the blame onto Jane Agius and her son and suggested a middle aged lady should jump on your bonnet to damage your car.
“I find this driving was as a result of a loss of temper by you and a determination to get away. This is as bad a case of causing serious injury by dangerous driving as there can be.”
Flynn was sentenced to four years imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for seven years.