Wigan motorist in court after minor car crash led to angry confrontation

A young driver who failed to stop after scraping his car against another vehicle was later confronted by its angry owner and her family, a court heard.

By Gaynor Clarke
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 4:55 am

Harry Dandy, 21, was driving a Vauxhall Astra in Platt Bridge when he collided with the Nissan parked outside its owner’s house at 8.30pm on December 6, 2020.

Bolton Crown Court heard the car was scratched and its wing mirror was damaged, but Dandy drove away without trying to find the owner or leave his details.

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Bolton Crown Court

Philip Hall, prosecuting, said: “The owner heard a noise at the time but didn’t think much of it. She became aware of the collision when she checked CCTV at her home. She immediately recognised the Vauxhall Astra belonging to Mr Dandy.”

At 11.15pm that day, the woman went to move her car and saw Dandy drive past, so she followed him to nearby Wyre Avenue.

She parked her car in the middle of the road, outside her parents’ house, and ran inside to get them.

The court heard her father David Black and other family members went outside to confront Dandy, of Lily Lane, Bamfurlong.

Mr Hall said: “Mr Dandy initially denied causing any damage. He did offer £20. He was challenged about why he would give £20 if he wasn’t responsible. He admitted eventually being responsible and offered to pay for the damage.”

Dandy “pleaded” with them not to call police, but the woman’s brother Scott Black had already called 999, the court heard.

CCTV footage was shown of Dandy going to move his car, but he mounted the pavement onto a grassed area.

David and Scott Black surrounded the vehicle to stop him leaving and David Black put his hands on the car, which was travelling at five to 10mph.

The court heard Mr Black hurt his right elbow and had aches in his lower back and right shoulder after “tweaking” an old injury.

When interviewed by police, Dandy said he was in fear and wanted to get out of the situation.

Dandy was initially charged with dangerous driving, but instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention. He also admitted common assault.

Mark Friend, defending, said Dandy had no previous convictions, worked full-time and came from a “stable, decent, socially responsible background”.

He operated at an “age below his real age” and his background was detailed in a pre-sentence report prepared for the judge.

He said the incident lasted for a “matter of seconds” and Dandy had “expressed his remorse and distress” for what happened.

Mr Friend said: “It was entirely out of character, an aberration in what otherwise has been a decently lived life.”

Recorder Geoffrey Lowe said failing to stop to leave his details after the initial collision was the “first bad decision” made by Dandy that day.

Sentencing, he said: “What started out as something that would have been simply sorted by knocking on somebody’s door and offering to pay resulted in you being charged with dangerous driving and coming to crown court and no doubt a great deal of stress.”

Dandy was sentenced to a six-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity days and his driving licence was endorsed with three points.

He must pay £85 towards prosecution costs and a statutory surcharge.