Teenage driver jailed for mowing down pedestrian

PUBLISHED: 11:01 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:01 09 December 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A teenage driver has been jailed for mowing down a pedestrian outside an Axminster pub and then torching his car to destroy the evidence.

Connor Lee. Picture DCPConnor Lee. Picture DCP

Connor Lee, of Charmouth, lost his temper when pub customer Stuart Dixon spat at his car as a protest against the speed at which he raced past the Red Lion, in Axminster.

Lee turned his car round, stopped outside the pub and deliberately drove at Mr Dixon as he walked round the front of the Hyundai towards the driver's window.

The CCTV images of the tyre going over his lower leg as he is knocked into the road are so gruesome and graphic that police have decided not to release them.

It showed Lee looking at Mr Dixon and deliberately turning the steering wheel so his car hit him as it moved off. One eye-witness heard Lee say: 'I'm going to do him', before he drove at Mr Dixon.

The incident happened outside the Red Lion pub, at 7.40pm ,on May 11.

Pub customers rushed to Mr Dixon's aid but he was seriously injured. He suffered two fractures to his lower right leg and a dislocated left ankle. He spent three weeks in hospital, is still on crutches and has only just been able to return to work seven months later.

Exeter Crown Court heard on Friday (December 6) that after the incident Lee drove to Harbour Road, Seaton, where he put residents at serious risk by torching the car in a car park beneath a block of flats

He was hoping to destroy the evidence but police were able to trace him through eye witnesses and CCTV.

Lee, 19, of Wellesley Road, Charmouth, denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent but was found guilty by a jury.

He admitted arson, being reckless whether life was endangered and driving without insurance.

He was jailed for four years and three months in a Young Offenders Institution by Judge David Evans.

He told him: "You committed the assault not because you thought Mr Dixon was coming round to assault you but out of anger and perhaps frustration and to a degree of humiliation you felt at being upbraided for speeding."

Caighli Taylor, defending, said Lee had acted impulsively when he ran over Mr Dixon and regretted his actions immediately. He did not realise that the spot where he set fire to the car was under a residential building.

She said: "He is shocked at how he behaved. He did not think about the danger or about the consequences. These offences were contrary to his normal character."

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