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James Bates who crashed car into Cinque Port Arms in New Romney admits trying to harm people

By Sean Axtell

A driver who crashed a car into a pub admitted in court he was deliberately trying to harm people.

James Bates, 24, of Blenheim Road, New Romney, drove his vehicle into the Cinque Port Arms in the town.

He appeared before Canterbury Crown Court for trial last week but changed his plea, admitting eight charges.

James Bates was deliberately trying to harm people when he crashed into the Cinque Port Arms. Picture: UK News in Pictures
James Bates was deliberately trying to harm people when he crashed into the Cinque Port Arms. Picture: UK News in Pictures

They were assault by beating, six counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He will next appear at Canterbury Crown Court for sentencing on September 14.

At the time of the incident on November 24, four people were injured and three needed hospital treatment.

Pub owner Kevin Gibbons said Bates had been escorted from the premises before he got in his car and crashed into the front of the building.

Mr Gibbons, who took over the pub two years ago with business partner Sharon Epps, has dropped plans to sell the business and said trade will continue after a “restructuring.”

James Bates was deliberately trying to harm people when he crashed into the Cinque Port Arms. Picture: Beryl Swift
James Bates was deliberately trying to harm people when he crashed into the Cinque Port Arms. Picture: Beryl Swift
Pub owner Kevin Gibbons
Pub owner Kevin Gibbons

He said: “It made sense to take it off the market at the moment and it will stay this way for the foreseeable future, it’s doing really well and hopefully we will have a good summer again.”

The pub in New Romney High Street appeared on Sidney Phillips estate agents website in November.

The agent marketed the pub as a “high turnover business with potential to increase food menu".

Mr Gibbons added: “We’ve gone through some re-structuring, now we’re going to stay, this is just the way it has gone.

"We’re all set for the World Cup, so it would be great to get people down and join in the fun.”

Folkestone and Hythe District Council agreed to increase the pub’s legal capacity from 75 to 220 people last year.

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