Driver fractured Sunderland man's pelvis after pinning him against wall with van during planned fight with brother

Andrew Richardson
Andrew Richardson

A driver has been put behind bars after he fractured a man's pelvis when he pinned him against a wall with his van.

Andrew Richardson intervened, using his Ford Transit motor, when his younger brother got into a planned street fight with an armed opponent in December

2015.

The 35-year-old has now been told by a judge he must "abide by the law of the land, not the law of the jungle" and put behind bars.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim, who had turned up to the "straightener" with Richardson's sibling armed with a machete, suffered serious injury when the vehicle ploughed into him.

The court heard Richardson's brother had been involved in an ongoing dispute with the victim and the men had agreed to meet "for a fight" in the street in South Hylton, Sunderland.

During the trouble, Richardson mounted the pavement with his Transit motor in a bid to protect his brother.

The injured man did not give evidence during Richardson's trial at Newcastle Crown Court and later made a statement saying he had been "too fearful" to attend.

Richardson, of John Street, Sunderland, was convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

He was cleared of the more serious offence of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to 12 months behind bars with a two year driving ban.

The judge told Richardson: "It is clear, at some point, you mounted the pavement and drove at the complainant, effectively knocking him into and pinning him to the wall, causing injuries to him.

"I accept that you were acting in excessive self defence, or self defence of your brother but nonetheless, you were using your vehicle as a weapon, driving dangerously in the way you did and causing injuries that were unnecessary."

Judge Gittins added: "The fact is, you should have abided by the law of the land, not the law of the jungle and your brother should have put the matter into the hands of the police rather than taking matters into his own hands and ending up in the position that you are.

"Instead of ignoring it, instead of counselling your younger brother to stay away from him, you took him up to that fight at the top of South Hylton and they came face to face."

The judge said he accepted Richardson's attack was not "premeditated" and he had reacted to protect his brother.

He warned Richardson to "stay away" from the injured man in future.

David Callan, defending, said Richardson has a good work record, positive references and has stayed away from trouble for a number of years.

Mr Callan added: "His brother was being attacked and chased by a man with a machete.

"He had not gone there to use his car as a weapon. He was protecting his brother."