Jailed drink-driver 'terrorised' family of five returning from trip to Flamingo Land, North Yorkshire

Horrified motorists and children were left stunned when a road-rage driver caused mayhem and injury in an act of madness in the North Yorkshire countryside.

By Court Reporter
Monday, 13th September 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 9:38 am

Cyren Hatton, 28, who was drink-driving, terrorised a family who were returning from a trip to Flamingo Land and attacked at least two people in a series of shocking incidents in Pickering which began when he parked in a layby and pulled out in in front of the family’s Vauxhall Zafira, York Crown Court heard.

The driver, whose wife and three young children were in the car, blasted his horn and had to perform an emergency stop as Hatton slammed on the brakes, causing a collision between the Zafira and the back of his VW Golf, said prosecutor Joe Culley.

Hatton, whose own partner was in the car, got out of his vehicle and marched over to the family’s car in Kirby Misperton Lane, “becoming abusive and threatening” and blaming the victim for the crash.

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Cyren Hatton.

“He was telling (the named male driver) to get out of his car,” said Mr Culley.

The man refused because he had his children in the car and feared for their safety, but Hatton got “in his face” and threw punches at him, causing a cut above his lip and a bloody nose.

The victim’s partner called police, at which point Hatton sped off.

The commotion was heard by residents living nearby who were having a barbecue.

They rushed to the scene of the crash after hearing “raised voices and children’s screams”.

When one of the men approached the scene, the Golf was already speeding away.

“(The named man) stood in the road in front of (Hatton’s) vehicle, gesturing for it to slow down,” said Mr Culley.

Hatton - who moments earlier had lost control of the car as he sped over the brow of a hill - bombed past him, so close that his vehicle caught the man’s hand, injuring his thumb.

He drove on at speed towards a country village, “swerving all over the road”, at which point a couple who had been hosting the barbecue were making their way to the scene.

Their son, who was following in a Mini, stopped near the damaged Zafira, got out of his car and saw Hatton “coming back towards him, swerving on the road at high speed”.

His mother saw the vehicle coming towards her and ran to the side of the road.

“She screamed at her son to do the same,” said Mr Culley.

Hatton, who was travelling at about 65mph on the country lane, sped past them and collided with the back of the Mini, shunting it 15 feet.

The Golf spun around and struck the front of the other family’s Zafira, which was shunted backwards about five feet as children screamed in the back seat.

All three vehicles suffered “significant” damage.

Hatton revved his engine and tried to drive off, but the wheels spun round and the vehicle didn’t move due to the damage it had sustained.

“He got out of the car (and) became abusive to everyone present,” said Mr Culley.

“He was raging, trying to cause harm to anyone who got in his way.”

He lunged at one of the men and missed but banged into the man’s wife who was knocked over.

Some of the men present took him to ground with “some considerable force” and restrained him until police arrived.

Hatton, who sustained a broken jaw and three broken ribs in the struggle, was arrested and hauled into custody where a breath test revealed he was over the drink-drive limit.

He was charged with dangerous driving, drink-driving and several counts of assault.

He admitted the driving offences and two of the assault charges.

The prosecution ultimately accepted these pleas.

Hatton, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, appeared for sentence on Friday.

The court heard he had six previous convictions for offences including violence.

Just three weeks before the road-rage incident, he received an 18-week suspended prison sentence for assault and public disorder inside a nightclub.

Mr Culley said the victims of the road-rage incident suffered not just physical harm but psychological distress.

One of the women said that the children’s screams would “live with me forever” and that she had never been so terrified in her life.

Olivia Whitworth, for Hatton, said the father-of-one had made “significant life changes” since the incident on August 26, 2019, when he was in “extreme emotional distress” due to family issues.

Judge Simon Hickey said it had to be an immediate jail sentence “to represent the harm and the damage (Hatton) caused to members of the public”.

Hatton, of Sykesmoor, Wilnecote, received a 12-month prison term and was banned from driving for 18 months.