Crazed motorist spared jail
A spurned ex who drove his silver BMW at a love rival has walked free from court.
Jason Howman, 43, mounted the pavement as he accelerated hard towards Stephen Smith when he saw him collecting his children from school.
Mr Smith, a friend of Howman’s ex Lauren Lake, had to jump over a fence to escape being ploughed down by enraged Howman, who was later found guilty of dangerous driving.
Preston Crown Court heard Howman had been in a relationship with Miss Lake and the couple had a daughter together.
But the pair had separated and Howman became jealous as he believed Mr Smith had started a relationship with Miss Lake.
On January 5 he spotted Mr Smith in the street and introduced himself as Lauren’s partner.
He started speaking to Mr Smith about the breakdown of their relationship and about custody arrangements for their child.
Mr Smith told Howson it had nothing to do with him, but as he started to walk across the junction of Colwyn Avenue and Vicarage Lane in Marton, Howman turned the vehicle towards him and put his foot down.
Recorder Julie Clemitson, sentencing at Preston Crown Court, said: “You used your car as some sort of a weapon.”
Throughout the trial at Preston Crown Court, Howman, of Seacrest Avenue, Fleetwood, insisted he had done nothing wrong, and claimed he was the injured party.
Mr Smith suffered minor aches and pains but the court heard he has become nervous as he does not know what Howman is capable of.
Since the incident he has been unable to sleep and has attached cutlery behind his letterbox so he will hear if someone comes at night.
Miss Clemitson said: “I don’t know whether you were trying to hit him or trying to frighten him but what you did was you caused a situation where there was a substantial risk you would hit him.
“He had no idea what you were capable of after that and he was frightened by you.
“What concerns me is that if you go immediately to prison you will just fester.
“You will continue to think you have been wrongly dealt with, given you difficulty in understanding what you did was wrong and that you were in the wrong, not him.
“I have weighed up how best to try to improve the prospects for the future to try to make you understand why you behaved in the way you did, and to take responsibility for it to ensure you are not a danger to anyone else in the future.
“Your family will be better served if you can learn to communicate with people and listen.”
She handed Howman a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to carry out 40 hours rehabilitation activity.
The judge also put him on a three month curfew between 7pm and 7am and banned him from driving for two years.