Men hid behind roadworks and climbed fence as drink-driver 'aimed car' at them

PUBLISHED: 12:29 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:52 02 January 2020

Ryan Barnard hit 90mph while speeding in Gorleston and Yarmouth      Photo: Laura Bagshaw

Ryan Barnard hit 90mph while speeding in Gorleston and Yarmouth Photo: Laura Bagshaw

A drink-driver drove his car at two terrified men, who climbed a fence and hid behind roadworks in a desperate bid to escape, a court heard.

Ryan Barnard skidded and ploughed into a lamppost after hitting 90mph while speeding through Great Yarmouth.

His two passengers - said they "thought he was going to crash" as he undertook cars and drove over roundabouts, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that when the 32-year-old crashed, the men got out - but Barnard chased them in his car.

One of them said: "I was running all over the road to get out of the way - he was aiming his car at me. I was trying to get out the way and climbed up a fence."

Barnard then reversed his car and went towards the other passenger before he went at the other man again, who had to "avoid getting hit".

The passengers took refuge behind roadworks but Barnard got out and said he had a gun.

One of the victims called the police before they climbed over a fence and escaped.

Mr Youell said Barnard had picked up the men from a pub in Gorleston after they offered him a smoke, before driving off at speed towards Yarmouth.

He said Barnard hit speeds of between 80mph and 90mph. At one point one of the passengers asked him to slow down but the defendant laughed and sped up.

Mr Youell said Barnard later skidded after he slammed on the brakes and hit a lamp-post, after which both passengers got out of the car but were then chased.

Barnard, of West Avenue, Gorleston, was found to have 86mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on January 5 2019.

He also admitted drink-driving and a public order offence on the same date.

Judge Andrew Shaw said what happened in those 30 to 45 minutes must have been "absolutely terrifying" for the victims.

Barnard was jailed for nine months and banned from driving for three years and four-and-a-half months.

David Stewart, defending, said Barnard deserved credit for his plea and accepted he had a problem with alcohol.

He said there was also some understanding of how dangerous this driving was.

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