Pub car park attacker run over by victim

10:56 21 November 2012

Suspended sentence for man who met ex-wife and her new husband at an Axminster pub car park armed with a hammer.

An angry father was run over in a pub car park after smashing a car’s window with a hammer during an argument with his ex-wife.

Russell Simcox sent a string of threatening texts before driving to the car park near Axminster to hand over his son after a weekend visit armed with a hammer.

When he arrived at the rendez-vous from his home in North Devon, he got out of his car and started arguing with his ex-wife and her husband, who had pulled up alongside him.

He had a hammer hidden in a plastic bag which he brandished before using it to smash the driver’s door window, showering his ex-partner’s husband, Steven Rider, with broken glass.

Mr Rider reversed to get away but then ran over his attacker as he tried to get out of the car park, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Simcox, 51, of Wadlands Meadow, Okehampton, admitted criminal damage and having an offensive weapon and was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years, and ordered to go on an alcohol awareness course as part of a one-year supervision order.

Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, told him there was an element of pre-planning in the sending of the texts and the hiding of the hammer.

Mr Alex Allsop, prosecuting, said Simcox travelled from his home in Okehampton to meet his ex-wife, Anna-Maria, who now lives in Weymouth with her new husband, at the Hunters Lodge in Raymonds Hill, Axminster.

He said: “It was a pre-planned meeting but he had sent a number of abusive messages to Mr and Mrs Rider.

“When he arrived, he got out of his car with a bag and approached the driver’s side window where Mr Rider was sitting. He shouted through the window, inviting him to come out.

“He hit the window with the hammer twice and it smashed. Mr Rider reversed back to get away and then forward, hitting and knocking down Simcox.

“A passer-by went to see if Simcox was all right and found he was not hurt.

“Mr and Mrs Rider called the police, and police noticed slight injuries on the side of his face consistent with being hit by flying glass.”

Mr Allsop said Simcox told the police he acted in self-defence because he thought Mr Rider and his ex-wife were laughing at him and may assault him.

Mr Rider said he had not intended to hit the other man and was trying to escape from the car park when the collision took place.

Mr Warren Robinson, defending, urged the judge to follow the recommendations of a probation pre-sentence report.

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