Scarborough driver who ran over traffic warden is jailed

An enraged motorist drove at a traffic warden and knocked him to the ground after he was slapped with a parking ticket.

Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 10:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th February 2018, 5:33 pm
Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, 46, had illegally parked his Renault van in a loading bay in Vernon Road, next to Scarborough Library, before going off on an “errand”.

When he returned to his vehicle he found a traffic warden slapping a parking ticket on his windscreen, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Camille Morland said Kelly flew into a rage and launched a volley of foul-mouthed abuse. He then ripped the ticket off his windscreen, screwed it up and threw it to the ground.

Kelly sped off down Vernon Road but then drove back towards the traffic warden, added the barrister.

“The manner of driving, the speed and the engine noise was enough to attract the attention of members of the public,” said Ms Morland.

As Kelly approached the loading bay, he swerved left towards the traffic warden, who works for Scarborough Borough Council, tried to jump out of the way but the van struck him on the hip with enough force to knock him to the ground.

“It knocks Mthe victim from his feet onto the ground and then the defendant doesn’t stop,” added Ms Morland.

Kelly claimed it was the vehicle’s wing mirror which had “clipped” the victim, but witnesses said the warden had been struck by the front of the van.

Kelly drove off, but police later went to his home in Scarborough and found that he had cleaned dirt from his van in an attempt to remove evidence of the incident on the afternoon of December 30 last year.

He was interviewed five days later but claimed the collision was an accident.

He received a court summons in May, but three days later sent the victim a Facebook message saying: “Good afternoon. Mr Kelly here. Just had a letter from court to say you are prosecuting me for beating you.”

Kelly said this was “not true” and gave his mobile-phone number to the traffic warden to “discuss this matter further”.

He signed off with: “Many thanks, Jason Kelly”.

Kelly, a seismology surveyor for a geophysics company, erupted in fury and shouted to the warden: “Nothing changes, does it? I know where you live!”

“The victim was worried that the defendant might do something to him,” said Ms Morland.

Kelly was arrested again six days later, but only admitted the confrontation when police showed him video footage from a camera on the warden’s uniform.

The victim said he had suffered “severe” pain to his back, thigh, hip and fingers. He had sought medical attention and his employers had to put him on light duties for five months. He was still taking medication and making regular trips to the pain clinic at Scarborough Hospital.

The victim, who is epileptic, said the trauma from the incident had aggravated his epilepsy and he was now “averaging three seizures a week”.

“This incident has caused him anxiety, particularly at work because when he is out on the street and hears a vehicle engine close by, it brings it back to him,” added Ms Morland.

She said there had also been a knock-on effect on his family life.

Kelly, of Montpellier Terrace, St Martin’s Avenue, ultimately admitted dangerous driving and witness intimidation and appeared for sentence on Thursday.

Defence barrister Jo Shepherd said the father-of-one was “thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour” but had no previous convictions and had not displayed any violence in the past.

But Judge Paul Batty QC told Kelly: “Why you drove in this way is clear: it’s because you were fired up and angry at receiving a ticket. Road rage is what it really comes to.”

He said the effect on the victim , whom he described as a family man, had been “considerable”.

Kelly remained expressionless as he was jailed for 18 months and given a three-year driving ban.