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Driver Samuel Sullivan jailed after knocking down Tadhg Hartnett while three times driving limit after row in Rochester

A demolition worker deliberately knocked down a man and injured him after climbing behind the wheel of his car while drunk, a court heard.

Samuel Sullivan twice mounted the pavement in his Vauxhall Vectra before knocking Tadhg Hartnett to the ground.

The 29-year-old father then drove home and downed more alcohol, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

Sullivan, of Beacon Road, Chatham, was jailed for 15 months after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm, dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from driving for two years.

Andrew Forsyth, prosecuting, said after a row with his partner on the evening of August 31 last year Sullivan went and sat in his car.

He then drove to see a friend. They had a few drinks before going into Rochester town centre. They drank at more bars before leaving at about 2.20am.

As they did so they encountered a group of young people, including Mr Hartnett, and there was a confrontation.

Mr Forsyth said the group eventually left and Sullivan went to get his car in Maidstone Road. He drove to East Row, revving the engine and screeching the tyres.

Mr Hartnett zigzagged across the road to get away. Sullivan mounted the pavement and struck the victim. As he reversed away he was heard to say: “I got the fat -------.”

Mr Hartnett suffered bruising to his back, temple, forearm and shoulder and lost income from being unable to work.

Judge Jeremy Carey told Wild: "The victim must hate you for what you have done"

Police went to Sullivan’s home and arrested him. He claimed he had a number of other drinks and a back calculation estimated he was up to three times the legal driving limit.

Mr Forsyth said the car would not have passed an MOT test because of defects.

Sullivan had previous convictions for assault, criminal damage and burglary.

Ben Temple, defending, submitted the driving was reckless rather than deliberate. Sullivan, he said was a family man with two young children.

He had “paused” work for a demolition company in Ramsgate while awaiting sentence.

“This was a drunk driver using a car as a weapon. It can be deadly. It must have been terrifying" - Judge Jeremy Carey

“It may be others would say he would be very fortunate to receive a suspended sentence,”

added Mr Temple.

But Judge Jeremy Carey said: “This was a drunk driver using a car as a weapon. It can be deadly. It must have been terrifying.

“It was an attempt at the very least to put absolute fear into this young man, not once but twice deliberately driving onto the pavement towards him.

“Fortunately, he suffered fairly low level injuries but the traumatic effect has been considerable. It was a sustained or repeated assault.”

The judge told Sullivan: “I am satisfied in the cold light of day you see the folly of your actions and the possible consequences.”

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