Jail for drink-driver who left hit-and-run victim for dead

A DRINK-DRIVER left a pedestrian lying in a pool of blood after deliberately mowing him down following a late-night brawl.

Nicholas Cox, aged 40, was this week jailed for four-and-a-half years after he mounted the pavement in a Renault Clio to run down Arran Walker in an incident driven by revenge.

Bristol Crown Court was told how Mr Walker was flung more than five metres into the window of Infinity hair salon in Locking Road, Weston. The glass was shattered by the impact.

Cox had been out with two friends drinking at various bars in Weston, including the Tavern Inn the Town pub when he ran into Mr Walker and his friend Ian Mowbray in Alexandra Parade.

The pair, who were visiting Weston, got into a fight with four other men and Cox and his neighbour Jason Frost tried to act as peacemakers.

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But Cox was punched twice during the brawl and swore he would get revenge.

Mr Frost handed over his car keys to Cox who drove after Mr Walker and Mr Mowbray.

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James Ward, prosecuting, said: “Mr Mowbray heard the car and turned around and saw the Renault with no lights on.

“It then mounted the pavement and drove towards the pair. He was of course frightened and shouted to Mr Walker to move.”

Mr Mowbray was able to leap out of the way in time but Mr Walker ‘flew’ into the shop window after he was hit, the court was told.

Mr Ward said: “Mr Walker had been thrown against the window and the glass frontage had been smashed at the bottom and blood was dripping down. Mr Mowbray could see Mr Walker’s skull.

“Cox had to swerve onto the pavement to get to him. He said in the driver’s seat: ‘I will show the little t***’.”

The incident has left Mr Walker traumatised and reluctant to leave his own home.

Mr Ward said: “He has lost confidence and become nervous in crowds.

“He had to move bedrooms as he couldn’t be near the sound of cars.”

Mr Walker was taken to Weston General Hospital after suffering several cuts and bruises. He had no bone-related injuries.

Cox drove Mr Frost back to his home in Pembroke Road on the Bournville estate, before confessing to his now ex-partner that he thought he had killed someone.

He then debated fleeing to the south of France before the police captured him.

Ian Halliday, mitigating, said Cox was remorseful over what had happened and said any talk of leaving the country was not serious.

He said: “This was an appalling incident for not only the victim, but also my client who is utterly appalled that he was capable of doing such a thing.”

Mr Halliday said Cox’s temper boiled over after being punched just minutes before the crash.

He said: “Cox was punched, bleeding and in pain himself. They weren’t looking for trouble. Trouble found them. What he did wasn’t done in a cold-blooded calculated way.”

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith sentenced Cox to four-and-a-half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He said: “Apart from a firearm, a motor vehicle is the next most dangerous thing to use as a weapon. It’s good luck rather than good judgement that you aren’t facing a more serious matter.”

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