A road rage driver who mounted the pavement, knocking over two pedestrians and smashing a takeaway window reported the incident to the police – because he thought HE was the victim.Advertisement
When he was shown dramatic CCTV images of the fracas in Church Street, Preston, Stephan Kruger, 37, was forced to admit he had been driving dangerously and found himself in the dock at Preston Crown Court.
Footage showed Kruger, a postman who lives in Broadgate, pulling up at traffic lights where a group of young men were crossing the road.
Kruger got out of his vehicle to confront the men, and during the verbal altercation, one of them kicked his car.
Describing the incident, Harry Pepper, prosecuting, said: “He reverses, puts the car into full lock, mounts the pavement and drives at the group of males.
“One of the men is hit and falls into a takeaway window causing the window to smash. Another man rolls onto the bonnet.”
Miraculously both men got up and the group chased Kruger down Church Street as he drove away from the scene.
Following the incident, neither the men or the owner of the takeaway reported the matter to the police.
But when he returned home Kruger made a complaint his car was kicked. Officers retrieved CCTV from the scene and when he viewed it at the police station, Kruger admitted dangerous driving.
Beverley Hackett, defending, said: “He just panicked. If he was the kind of person to sit in his car and deliberately, in a very masculine way, try to scare them – that is not the kind of person to then go and call the police and give them the information to seek out the cctv. He was dismayed by what he saw.”
Judge Jonathan Gibson, sentencing, said: “You are not a man who anyone who knows you would expect to see in the dock of a criminal court, with now a criminal record that will stay with you for life.
“I have no doubt that that you deliberately drove on the pavement. I ave equally no doubt you weren’t trying to knock anyone over but you were trying to scare the living daylights out of them.
“It is wildly reckless and mercifully there were no injuries. You hit two people and one of them went into the window of a takeaway and smashed it.
“It is extraordinary that you were the one who reported it to the police. I think the fact you rang the police and accidentally put you here suggests you didn’t recall what you had done.
“Your temper was so high, your self control was so long gone that you were able to force out of your mind what you had done. The red mist had seen to that.”
He handed Kruger a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and be under curfew for two months. Kruger was also ordered to pay £250 costs.