A 32-year-old man from Ipswich has been given an 18-year sentence for deliberately driving a car at a group of pedestrians earlier this year, following an altercation at a public house in the town.
Thomas Broughton, of Woodbridge Road, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court , Tuesday 17 November, where he was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment. He will serve a minimum of 12 years in custody, with the remaining period on licence.
Broughton had been found guilty of four offences at the conclusion of a week-long trial in September, and received sentences for each as follows:
– Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (18 years imprisonment)
– Two counts of attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (10 years imprisonment to be served concurrently for each offence)
– Dangerous driving (Two years imprisonment to be served concurrently and disqualified from driving for four years, with a 12-year uplift, so 16 years in total until test passed)
He was convicted of these charges after being cleared by the court of three counts of attempted murder.
The incident took place shortly after midnight on Sunday 8 March in St Helens Street.
Police were called at 12.25am to reports of a collision between the junctions of Regent Street and Dove Street, where a black Audi A3 being driven by Broughton mounted the pavement and drove at a group of six men, colliding with three of them.
Two of the victims sustained serious injuries and were initially taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.
However, one of the men – aged in his 40s – was later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in what was considered to be a life-threatening condition at the time. He sustained serious head and brain injuries and only left a rehabilitation centre in August after five months of treatment. He is currently only able to walk short distances with assistance.
The second man taken to the hospital required several days of treatment but has now recovered from his injuries. The third victim was clipped by the car and suffered minor injuries which did not require hospital treatment.
The police investigation found that the collision followed an earlier incident between Broughton – who was accompanied by two other people – and a group of men comprising the victims, outside the Waterlily Public House in St Helens Street.
At around 12.15am the group of six men left the premises on foot and words were exchanged with Broughton, resulting in some pushing and shoving and punches thrown. The short scuffle was broken up and the group of men walked off towards the town centre.
Broughton walked around the corner to a car park in Regent Street and got into his black Audi A3, which he then drove out into St Helens Street and mounted the pavement near to the Elmy Cycles shop, where he collided with the men. He then drove off towards the town centre, going through a red light in the process.
Just over an hour later, Broughton called the police control room stating he wanted to hand himself in following a hit and run incident in St Helens Street. He subsequently returned to the scene of the collision and was arrested by officers in attendance there at just after 1.30am.
During the trial, Broughton denied deliberately driving at the men and that he had not intended to kill anyone or cause serious harm, claiming that he accidental swerved onto the pavement after “seeing a flash”.
The jury found him guilty by a unanimous verdict of deliberately intending to cause grievous bodily harm to the victims.
T/Detective Superintendent David Henderson, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Broughton mounted the pavement intentionally and with the clear intent to cause harm to the group of men walking there.
“This was an extremely mindless and dangerous action, motivated at most by a minor skirmish outside a pub, which apparently took place following his belief that someone in the group had directed a comment towards him.
“As a consequence of this revenge attack, one man has been left with very serious injuries – he currently has limited mobility down one side, suffers from memory problems and is not able to walk unaided.
“The sentence handed down reflects the seriousness of Broughton’s crimes and also takes into account his continued denial of the offences – I hope he will now take the time to think about the severe impact he has had on the lives of others.”