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Daniel Wood convicted of assault and dangerous driving in Sittingbourne

A dad has been spared a driving ban after hitting his ex-wife with his car while their child was inside.

Daniel Wood of Redstart Avenue, Maidstone, was convicted of assaulting Charlotte Phillips in Sittingbourne and driving a motor vehicle dangerously.

The latter usually carries a 12-month driving ban, but with the Vauxhall service manager set to appeal his conviction, magistrates decided to suspend the ban.

Daniel Wood, 32, leaves Maidstone Magistrates Court (6407292)
Daniel Wood, 32, leaves Maidstone Magistrates Court (6407292)

Maidstone Magistrates' Court heard the 32-year-old confronted Mrs Phillips on her doorstep in Arthur Street, Sittingbourne, in July last year, leaving their child in his car.

Tempers flared after Wood became unhappy the child had started calling Mrs Phillips' new partner "daddy".

Wood told magistrates he found the idea "morally wrong".

When Mrs Phillips' new partner got involved, Wood claimed he drove away to protect him and his child from the confrontation.

Mrs Phillips told the court she was trying to get their child out of the car when Wood started to drive off.

She told magistrates Wood swerved his red Vauxhall Insignia towards her down the narrow, one-way street, hitting her on the left-hand side and back, before driving away.

A neighbour who saw what happened gave a statement to police, but failed to attend court due to ill health.

Maidstone Magistrates' Court
Maidstone Magistrates' Court

In the statement the neighbour wrote he saw Wood's vehicle "drive toward Charlotte and toward our houses, it only just missed our bay windows".

He added: "The male put his foot down, going somewhere between five and 10 miles per hour, causing [Charlotte] to spin around."

The mother-of-two said there was no bruising but she ached the following day.

Wood denied using his car as a weapon, saying he pulled away slowly and accidentally clipped Mrs Phillips.

Favouring Mrs Phillips and the neighbour's accounts, magistrates convicted Wood of both charges, handing him a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and £485 in fines and costs.

Chairman of the bench, Adrian Atmore, described Wood's driving as "reckless".

Tom Dunn, defending, asked for a 12-month driving ban to be suspended, claiming it would be "frankly catastrophic" by costing Wood his job.

The bench, who had heard from four character witnesses in Wood's favour, decided to suspend the ban, pending an appeal hearing.

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