An angry worker who had not been paid jumped into his boss’ 4x4 and drove it at him.
Although Glen Lewis, 40, braked hard, he still struck Steven Martin on the elbow, causing grazing and swelling.
There was a brief stand off, then Mr Lewis put his foot down and drove towards the men. He attempted to brake, but it was too lateProsecutor Joseph Templeton
Lewis, of Cumberland Close, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to theft of the Nissan Navara and causing actual bodily harm to Steven Martin.
Prosecutor Joseph Templeton told St Albans Crown Court on Friday (May 22) that when he was arrested Lewis told the police that he had taken a car when he was owed money on a previous occasion and the company had paid up.
He said that Mr Lewis had fallen out with a colleague at Fusion Drainage on Lower Hatfield Road, Hertford and had left, but was still owed wages. Mr Martin said he would not pay him until he received an assurance that tax would be paid to the Inland Revenue.
In what the judge described as a “temper tantrum”, Lewis went to the company to demand his money early on August 9, 2013. When Mr Martin arrived he got out of his Navara, leaving the keys in the ignition. Lewis jumped into the 4x4 and drove towards the gates where Mr Lewis and another worker David Nugent were standing.
The prosecutor said: “There was a brief stand off, then Mr Lewis put his foot down and drove towards the men.
“He attempted to brake, but it was too late and he struck Mr Martin, who fell to the ground.”
Lewis drove off and was arrested that afternoon. He told the police that the last time he had driven off in a vehicle belonging to a company that owed him money, they had paid up.
The 4x4 was recovered. The only damage was to the number plate.
Chiara Maddocks, defending, said Lewis was still owed £1900 by Mr Martin. She said he had not gone back to the company with the intention of driving off in a vehicle. He saw the keys in the ignition and drove off, she said.
He had not re-offended since the offence, which was nearly two years ago,
Recorder Kalyani Kaul QC said Lewis had thrown a temper tantrum and behaved in a reckless way. She told him: “You behaved in an appalling and dangerous fashion.
“It was wholly unacceptable.”
She passed a seven-month jail sentence suspended for two years, with 18 months’ supervision by probation officers. He must also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, pay £500 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.
The judge told Lewis not to contact Mr Martin. He replied: “I have no reason to talk to him again.”