Wed, 25 Mar 2015
A well-known West Berkshire stonemason who ran down an innocent man in a parking space row has been jailed.
Jocelyn ‘Joss’ Nankoo aimed his silver Porsche at the motorist who got out to remonstrate – and sent him flying, Reading Crown Court heard.
Victim Adrianus Goodall sustained potentially life-changing head injuries after being knocked sprawling into oncoming traffic in Thatcham Broadway.
The hero of the hour was town butcher Pete Congerton, a judge heard. He confronted Nankoo, of Hebden Close, Thatcham, dodged a punch from the raging 51-year-old and then restrained him until police arrived.
Wayne Cranston-Morris, prosecuting, said Nankoo blocked in 60-year-old Co-operative delivery driver Mr Goodall, who was properly parked in a marked bay outside the Post Office in The Broadway.
But as Mr Goodall walked to remonstrate with him, the court heard, Nankoo – who runs Stone Art Memorials at Greenham Business Park – reversed and swerved out, ploughing into him.
CCTV footage which captured the horrific incident in June last year was shown to the court at the sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Mr Cranston-Morris said: “The next thing Mr Goodall remembers is waking up in the back of an ambulance, then losing consciousness.
“He was in hospital a total of eight days, had a number of CT scans, and had six staples put into the wound in the back of his head.”
He added that Mr Goodall could lose his HGV licence because he sustained a serious head injury and his income had dropped from £550 a week to £85.
The court heard Mr Congerton, who witnessed the incident, confronted Nankoo who then verbally abused the unconscious man at his feet.
As a crowd gathered, the stonemason then became aggressive, demanding: “Who are you – a ******* detective?” before swinging a punch at Mr Congerton, the judge was told.
But Mr Congerton ducked and restrained him until Nankoo was arrested.
At a previous hearing the stonemason admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one count of assault by beating during the incident on June 2 last year.
Alistair Grainger, defending, admitted the CCTV footage was “particularly awful to watch” but claimed that, despite Mr Congerton’s evidence, his client had struck Mr Goodall by accident.
Mr Grainger added: “He said that he was in shock as a result of what had occurred – he felt there was a lynch mob developing around the incident.”
He pointed out his “remorseful” client has been commissioned to create a range of local gravestones and war memorials and handed in references from the Royal British Legion and former Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Mary Bayliss.
Mr Grainger said: "This is a man who has done a great deal for his community and done a great deal to enhance the lives of those currently living in the community...this is a man who should be highly regarded by the community because of his work as a war artist."
And he added that jailing him would mean that not only his three employees would suffer, but also his son, for whom he pays child support.
However, the judge, Mr Recorder Prior, told Nankoo he was lucky his victim was not killed by oncoming traffic and added: "You were clearly reckless as to the safety of Mr Goodall (who) suffered a very serious injury.
"Your conduct, in my judgement, both towards Mr Goodall and Mr Congerton, was unprovoked...I have concluded that only an immediate custodial sentence is commensurate to the seriousness of your conduct.”
Nankoo was jailed for 12 months.
Mr Congerton, of the Cook and Butcher in High Street, said afterwards: “The sentence is not long enough - he’ll be out in a few months. I was trying help the guy on the floor - I honestly thought he was dead - and he didn’t give any thought to him. All he did was get angry.”