Lee Owen, 38, collided with a roofer’s car by pushing his way into the line of traffic where the A64 narrows from two lanes to one just north of York, according to Judge Simon Hickey.
After the encounter, Owen’s reckless driving caused the roofer serious injuries, leaving him still affected nearly two years later, said Nick Adlington, prosecuting.
Adlington said Owen “tried to drive through a gap that simply didn’t exist” and must have known the roofer was somewhere between the van and his car, causing thousands of pounds in damage.
Judge Simon Hickey described Owen’s behavior as “reckless” and said it had a “life-changing effect” on the roofer.
Medical evidence presented in court stated that the roofer will need further surgery and still cannot work nearly two years after the incident in March 2022.
The roofer said in a personal statement that the incident has “ruined” his life and had a significant financial impact on his family.
Owen pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving, and criminal damage and was given a 20-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. He must also do 200 hours’ unpaid work, pay £2,000 compensation to the roofer, and is banned from driving for 30 months.
For Owen, Emily Hassell said he had acted in panic when he “pulled forward” and that his family would suffer if he were jailed as he was the only breadwinner.