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Drink-driver Jordan Imison jailed after Maidstone man Joseph Konopka hit by van

A drink-driver who deliberately drove his van at a man, leaving him with a fractured leg, has been jailed for two years.

Joseph Konopka was struck by the Renault Kangoo after it rounded a bend in Barker Road, Maidstone, crossed the central white lines and headed towards him.

Mr Konopka, who was walking with friends at the time, was flung onto the bonnet. He then hit the windscreen, causing it to shatter, before landing on the pavement.

Jordan Imison has been jailed for two years
Jordan Imison has been jailed for two years

He later had to have a metal pin inserted into his tibia.

The driver, Jordan Imison, did not stop and when he was eventually arrested two hours later, still at the wheel of his van, he gave an alcohol breath test reading of 59 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Imison, a telecoms engineer from Oakworth in Keighley, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving in the early hours of November 20, 2013.

He was due to stand trial on Monday accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and dangerous driving, but his guilty plea was accepted by the prosecution.

Nobody is being allowed into the crown court. Picture: Martin Apps
Nobody is being allowed into the crown court. Picture: Martin Apps

The incident happened just yards from the dock in which he stood at Maidstone Crown Court and CCTV footage shown during the hearing included film taken from a camera in the court car park.

Other footage showed an earlier altercation between Imison, his friend and Mr Konopka’s group in which Imison’s friend suffered a fractured hand when it was stamped on.

On that occasion Imison was, according to his barrister, Thomas Daniel, “very much the passive one” and had simply “panicked” as they drove away from Lockmeadow car park minutes later.

“Your vehicle hit him and caused a very serious fracture to his leg and was sufficiently severe that it required nailing and that nailing will be in his leg permanently" - Judge Jeremy Carey

However, jailing the 23-year-old, Judge Jeremy Carey said he was sure that he had driven deliberately at Mr Konopka, although it was not known whether he was walking on the pavement or in the road.

“You saw him there and you drove at him,” said the judge. “Your vehicle hit him and caused a very serious fracture to his leg and was sufficiently severe that it required nailing and that nailing will be in his leg permanently.

“His social life, sporting life and working life is, at the moment, substantially curtailed as a result.”

Imison, who has a previous conviction for aggravated vehicle taking in 2010, also admitted drink-driving and was banned from the road for five years.

Passing sentence, Judge Carey remarked that the CCTV footage of the altercation at the bottom of Maidstone High Street “quite plainly showed one of those typical exchanges between young men in the early hours of the morning”.

He added that when viewed in the cold light of day it was as “aimless and futile” as it appeared at the time it was captured.

Judge Carey said that although Imison had not been violent on the street, there was a “potentially explosive situation”.

He continued: “You could have so easily avoided it if you had not succumbed to drinking to excess that night.”

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