Astonishing trail of life-threatening destruction by driver
By Court Reporter | 16th August 2019
Hand brake turning his car in a public place and running people over is not Jake Grindle's "normal standard" of driving, a court heard.
The five assault charges he faced before Gloucester Crown Court were down to an argument with his partner which had left him 'emotional', but judge James Townsend refused to be taken for a ride.
Four years in prison now await the 26-year-old Forest of Dean man after what the court heard described as an 'alcohol-fuelled rampage' in his car.
Grindle, of Buckshaft Road, Cinderford was found guilty of five charges of assault and dangerous driving.
He also admitted two other similar charges. On the plus side, the jury found him not guilty of causing criminal damage to a Renault car.
The series of events began at the Cinderford Co-op car park during the early evening of August, 18, 2018 when Grindle was seen driving in his silver VW Golf performing handbrake turns and driving dangerously.
Neil Hewitt, a probation services officer said that Grindle had an argument with his partner earlier that day and had become 'emotional'.
He added: "He admits that his driving was not to his normal standard that evening. Grindle has now got himself a trade and he has become a family man and has become more responsible since becoming a father."
In sentencing Grindle, Judge James Townsend said: "One evening in August last year you embarked on an alcohol-fuelled rampage in your car.
"During a short period of time you drove your car without any regard to safety, and indeed lives of others.
"Even worse you struck three people in your vehicle. You will therefore be sentence for causing actual bodily harm.
"The incident started with you driving dangerously using around the Co-op car park in Cinderford. You drove very close to two teenagers and they understandably shouted at you.
"You then got out of the car and punched them. An acquaintance of yours then spoke to you about what you had done.
"You then got back into your car and drove at considerable speed into town before returning to the car park and pinning Liam Halford against the wall.
"He sustained considerable injuries and damage to his knee, which he is still suffering from today.
"I am satisfied that your actions were quite deliberate.
"You then drove to a street not far away. Having knocked on the door of another acquaintance you were told to leave. The evidence shows that you reversed your car like a mad man before driving at Timothy Beard and knocking him over. It's a miracle he escaped with only bruises.
"You then continued your dangerous driving and drove at Thomas Baker, an innocent bystander who was running to help Mr Beard. He was also knocked over and sustained significant injuries. It was sheer luck that he was not more seriously hurt.
"Against that background, a prison sentence is inevitable. It's plain that your drinking and your drug habit affected your behaviour that evening. You were subsequently breathalysed and are serving a disqualification for this offence.
"I appreciate that you have made efforts since the incident a year ago to turn your life around, however a community order is not sufficient punishment for this offence."
The judge sentenced Grindle to a total of four years in prison. He also ordered him to pay of victim surcharge of £170.
The judge also disqualified Grindle from driving for four years after which he must take an extended test to get his licence back.
**At the start of the trial prosecutor Alistair Haggerty had told the jury "There were two distinct incidents.
"In the first one, a couple observed a silver VW Golf doing handbrake turns in the Co-op car park in Dockham Road and they shouted at him. This is said to have so annoyed Grindle that he almost hit them with the car.
"He then got out of the car and punched Cameron Barrington knocking his glasses to the ground while Chloe Ward jumped on him to try and restrain Grindle in a head lock but she also received punches and released her grip.
"Grindle then went racing off into town at speed. Liam Halford, who had just got off the bus, witnessed the incident, went to talk to the couple.
"At that point Grindle returned to the car park and drove at Mr Halford with his car."
Mr Halford said: "Grindle drove at me at speed. He knocked me flying. I was sent into the air by some 10 to 15 feet and I came down with a thud against a wall."
Mr Haggerty said the second incident happened in the College Road, Colliers Field area of town when Grindle visited Timothy Beard's home about half an hour later.
Mr Beard said: "Grindle came back to my house a second time that evening and was banging at the door. My mum answered and he said he was looking for a mutual friend who he knew to be at my house. I stood behind my mum as she closed the door on him.
"He was agitated. I went outside and grabbed a shovel and hopped onto a wall. I then ran after them when Grindle reversed backwards down the road at great speed."
Clare Beard, the mother of Timothy Beard said: "I opened my front door and saw this VW Golf drive over the gravel outside the house, with my son underneath it.
"I was relieved when he got up. Timothy smashed one of the car windows with a shovel."
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