Written by Bro Radio News

Woman banned from driving after debt row

22nd November 2021

A woman from Llantwit Major has been banned from driving after she struck a neighbour multiple times.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Jane Williams shunted her car into a woman in a row over an unpaid debt.

The 62 year-old was due to go on trial after denying dangerous driving charges, but she changed her plea to guilty.

She was banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.

The court heard Williams' husband - a mechanic - carried out work on the victim's car, which had been left damaged in a collision.

The prosecution said there were disputes over the completion of the work, which took two months to finish. The company responsible for damage to the car would pay £400 and the neighbour would pay the difference of £100.

But when the vehicle was finally returned, the complainant declined to pay up the debt, following ''an acrimonious conversation''.

In February 2020, the neighbour was on a dog walk in Church Lane, when she saw Mrs Williams' black Jaguar parked at a nearby junction.

A row broke out between the pair, and as the victim walked along the road, the defendant caused an obstruction, shouting repeatedly at the complainant through an open window.

The victim noticed she had been struck by the car, causing her to ''stagger and feel pain''. At one point, she put her hands on the bonnet and shouted ''Stop''.

The prosecutors said the victim was struck in her legs ''at least six times'' until Williams drove off, when a witness approached the scene.

Williams told police that the neighbour had made up the allegation. After pleading not guilty in court, preparations for a trial came to halt when she changed her plea last month.

In a victim impact statement, the neighbour said her self-confidence had ''waned significantly'' to the point that she was considering moving away from the area to avoid future confrontations with Williams.

Her legs were bruised in the incident and she no longer walks the route where the confrontation occurred.

She added: ''I feel Jane knows almost everyone in the area and is trying to get people to make me feel uncomfortable when I'm out walking. The situation has made me feel like an outsider in my own village.''

The defence, in mitigation, said what happened was ''impulsive'' and not planned - it was described as ''completely out of character and much regretted''.

Williams' lawyers claimed she was driving at a very low speed and that the victim had only suffered a ''very small area'' of bruising. She also denied a claim that rubbish was thrown into the neighbour's garden.

The defendant was said to pose a low risk of re-offending but now faced looking for new employment - she has no income or savings.

Recorder Duncan Bould told Williams she had put a lady at risk with a ''disgraceful piece of dangerous driving'', arising from ''nothing more than a disagreement between her, you, and your husband.''

He said: ''You don't need me to explain to you how dangerous what you did was. One small mistake from you could have resulted in her being very seriously injured.''

''You described it to the probation officer as the stupidest thing you've ever done in your life and that is a description I can wholeheartedly agree with.''

The recorder added he had to take into account Williams' late guilty plea and her previous character, which had been described in court as ''not just clean'' but ''positively good''.

Williams must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and an eight-day rehabilitation course. She won't have to pay any further costs, despite the case almost going to a trial.

Have you got a local story to share? Click to Submit your story or email news@broradio.fm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *