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Man 'used car as a weapon to hit teenage cyclist' in Gainsborough

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

Lincoln Crown Court

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A motorist deliberately drove into a 15-year-old schoolboy knocking the teenager off his pedal cycle, a court has heard.

Martyn Gardner had threatened the boy six months earlier warning that he would put the teenager over his car bonnet.

And when the youngster cycled along Love Lane, Gainsborough, he was spotted by Gardner who was parked in the street.

Christopher Lowe, prosecuting, said the boy recognised Gardner and tried to avoid eye contact as he cycled past.

Moments later he heard the sound of a car exhaust revving and then heard a car accelerating towards him.

The boy thought Gardner was going to overtake him but instead the motorist drove straight at him and he was knocked off his cycle.

Mr Lowe said: "The boy was flung off his bike onto the bonnet of the car and then rolled onto the road.

"The defendant made no attempt to stop."

When Gardner was arrested later he falsely claimed the boy was cycling without lights and was wobbling from side to side as if he were drunk.

Gardner, 50, of Marlow Road, Gainsborough, admitted charges of dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident following the incident on April 26.

He was banned from driving for 12 months.

Judge Michael Heath told Gardner: "You used your car as a weapon. You could have killed him.

"In a case as grave as this I simply cannot do anything other than send you straight into custody."

Andrew Bailey, defending, urged that any jail sentence should be suspended and said that Gardner was regarded as a kind and considerate man.

Mr Bailey said: "He is 50 years of age and has led a blameless and fruitful life up to now. This is a hard-working, decent and usually honest and trustworthy family man.

"He accepts that this was a serious offence and that this was a gross and inappropriate reaction."

Gardner was jailed for 12 months.

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  • matttye  |  December 11 2012, 9:12PM

    Seems like it wouldn't be difficult to prove GBH/attempted GBH, but attempted murder would be more difficult depending on the circumstances. GBH would be easier to prove as a broken bone is a risk even if you drive at somebody quite slowly.

  • impetuous  |  December 11 2012, 6:25PM

    @Victor How likely is it that you will kill or call serious bodily harm to somebody if you drive at them with a car? I would say so likely that intention can be inferred; and that is allowed in law - all to do with the different laws of recklessness and the reasonable man tests. It might be that the car just clipped the bike or he was only driving 10 miles per hour of course. Unless the Echo reports it, we will not know.

  • Roadscource  |  December 11 2012, 5:40PM

    "Deal with the crime not the background." We do, thats why the system doesnt work !

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  • Bob_Ovett  |  December 11 2012, 5:37PM

    Regardless of the background the guy could have killed him. There's a 'reason' for almost everything in life, the guy who glasses another guy in a bar because he looked at his girlfriend, the person who robs a pensioner because they are addicted to drugs. Deal with the crime not the background. Anyway, the cyclist was a child, the driver a grown man.

  • Ian_Heighton  |  December 11 2012, 2:54PM

    You would have to assume that the Judge knew the background to the case in giving such a lenient sentence.

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  • Roadscource  |  December 11 2012, 1:44PM

    "there is surely nothing stopping TIL journalists getting out there and doing a bit of investigative journalism in the community" There must be something stopping them Whine, i think its motivation myself.

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  • eatmygoal  |  December 11 2012, 1:25PM

    Just on the attempted murder note, the reason it would not be treated as such as it is very difficult to prove. You would need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the chap intended to murder the child, not merely to injure him. I also echo the views on here, it is hard to get a full picture of this without knowing the full background of how this came about as it is clearly not a random attack without motive.

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  • VictorToo  |  December 11 2012, 1:23PM

    @ Roadscource Because even if it wasn't allowed in court, though reading some of the mitigating circumstances we've seen reported on these pages I'd be surprised, all the Echo have to do is go to Mr Gardner and ask him, I'm sure if he's got what he thinks is a reason, he'd tell them. If they can't be bothered to go there, they could even stretch themselves to use one of those telephonic communication devices I've heard so much about. Not difficult.

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  • Lincolnian1  |  December 11 2012, 1:01PM

    Roadscource, I think your missing the point. The police and the judiciary may not be able to divulge this information but now that the trial has taken place there is surely nothing stopping TIL journalists getting out there and doing a bit of investigative journalism in the community. It may of course be that the details of the case are subject to some kind of injunction preventing anyone from talking about it, but if that's the case why not say so.

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  • Roadscource  |  December 11 2012, 12:24PM

    "Come on Echo, earn your money and do some investigating instead of letting stories come to you" If the jury arent allowed to know the history of events leading to the incident why would TIL be given the details?

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