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Man ran over neighbour's landlord after parking row

28 Oct 2020

A man who ran over his neighbour’s landlord after a row about parking and building work has been jailed.

Robert Skilton, 62, of Green Street, March, first began arguing with the man in July last year when building work was taking place at his block of flats.

Skilton complained to the landlord of one of the neighbouring flats that workmen were blocking his vehicle access. Just after midday on 10 July, Skilton spoke to the man and demanded the workmen’s vehicle was moved immediately.

The man said it would be moved when they had finished unloading, but Skilton remained angry.

At 12.22pm Skilton visited March Police Station where he spoke with the enquiry officer, made a complaint about the work at his block of flats and insisted the matter was resolved by police.

The enquiry officer logged the complaint, but Skilton left the station stating that if police didn’t sort it he would “get a few mates to”.

Less than 15 minutes later, at 12.35pm, the landlord Skilton had argued with called police on 101 to report the earlier dispute.

However, while still on the phone at 12.47pm, the man announced Skilton had come back in his car.

Almost immediately the call was ended just after the sound of smashing and a scream.

Officers and paramedics attended and Skilton was arrested in his flat with the car keys. On his arrest he told officers “it wasn’t deliberate”.

The victim told police he was sat on the bench near the side of the driveway at the block of flats when Skilton accelerated towards him. He said the next thing he remembered was being under the car.

As a result of the collision the man was in hospital for five days. He suffered a fracture to his forearm and sternum (breastbone), as well as soft tissue and bruising to many other areas of his body.

"Accidentally hit the accelerator"

In police interview, Skilton denied being aggressive over the parking issue. He claimed his hand slipped on the wheel when trying to park at the block of flats, and instead of hitting the break he hit the accelerator.

He admitted being first aid trained, but when asked by officers why he didn’t help the victim, he said he was in shock.

Skilton was charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and assault by beating.

He stood trial over three days from 22 September at Peterborough Crown Court, where jurors took less than an hour to find him guilty of the lesser offence of GBH without intent. He was found not guilty of assault by beating, which related to an alleged earlier dispute with the same victim.

Skilton was sentenced at the same court last Wednesday (21 October) where Judge Matthew Lowe handed him 16 months in prison.

"A horrific incident"

Sentencing Skilton, Judge Lowe said using a vehicle to frighten someone after a dispute was so serious that the only appropriate punishment was an immediate custodial sentence.

Skilton was also handed a 10-year restraining order, preventing him from contacting or approaching the victim.

Detective Sergeant Phil Booty said: “This was a shocking set of events by Skilton, who maintained running over his victim was simply an accident.

“His behaviour was unacceptable and no-one deserves for this to happen to them.

“I hope the sentence imposed in this case and the restraining order gives the victim some closure from what clearly was a horrific incident.”

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