Man who pinned friend against wall with a Range Rover jailed for 18 months

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:55 24 March 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A 27-year-old who left his friend in “excruciating” pain when he pinned him against a wall with a Range Rover has been jailed for 18 months.

James Welland, of Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth, struck James Smith with the vehicle as he walked along Hammond Road in the town on September 20, 2016.

Norwich Crown Court heard how moments before the incident, the defendant had waved a knife in front of Mr Smith, who was with a child at the time.

Welland was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a trial on February 16 this year. He was acquitted of wounding with intent.

At his sentencing on Friday, judge Andrew Shaw explained how Welland and Mr Smith had previously been friends.

But he said something happened between the pair following a break-up between Welland and his partner at the time.

Judge Shaw said on the day of the incident, Welland learned that his ex-partner was round the house of Mr Smith’s partner.

The defendant had then gone to visit the property in an “extremely heightened emotional state”, judge Shaw said.

He added that a witness had described Welland as being “extremely aggressive”.

“She [the witness] was so concerned about your behaviour that she called Mr Smith to speak with you,” judge Shaw said.

“I am satisfied you took it as Mr Smith interfering in your relationship”.

The court heard how the pair exchanged words and there was a plan for them to “fight out” their differences.

Judge Shaw said Mr Smith was later walking down a road with a child when Welland drove up alongside them at walking pace.

“You were screaming abuse at him, saying to get in the car,” Judge Shaw said.

“You had a knife in the car and said ‘we are going to do this’.”

The court heard how Welland was in “such a rage” that he lost control of his vehicle.

“You lurched forward pinning Mr Smith against a cemetery wall,” judge Shaw said.

“It [caused] a pain he described as being excruciating.”

The impact resulted in Mr Smith suffering a 20cm long cut from his knee to his ankle, leaving the bone visible.

“You caused an appalling injury in the presence of a young child,” judge Shaw said.

“And you were armed with a weapon and you were waving [it] in anger.”

The court heard how Welland had multiple previous convictions including possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

Welland, who appeared in a white shirt, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and disqualified from driving for five years and nine months.

He put his head in his hands as the sentence was passed.

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