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Van driver damages car in road rage attack

District judge: "It’s lucky that person wasn’t seriously injured or killed"

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

A FURIOUS motorist rammed another vehicle in a frenzied road-rage attack in Theale.

A district judge said it was lucky no one was seriously injured or killed as the 27-year-old defendant slammed into the other driver’s car with his van, causing more than £1,000-worth of damage.

In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday was Thomas Owen Patten, of Christy Court, Tadley.

Anne Sawyer-Brandish, prosecuting, said victim Brendan Bunker was driving with a passenger on board at Theale, heading towards the M4 motorway, when the altercation happened.

She added: “Mr Bunker noticed a white Transit van very close.

“It pulled level with his car and he saw the driver was gesticulating and shouting at him.

“As he drove towards a roundabout the van suddenly swerved in front of his vehicle then came to a sudden stop.

“Mr Patten got out of his van and ran towards Mr Bunker’s vehicle.”

Mr Bunker managed to swerve around the furious van driver, who began a fresh pursuit, the court heard.

Ms Sawyer-Brandish went on: “Suddenly a loud bang could be heard.

“Mr Bunker was then able to pull in front of the van and there was a verbal exchange.

“Two minutes later the defendant drove off.”

District judge Davinder Lachhar remarked: “It’s lucky that person wasn’t seriously injured or killed. This was very dangerous.”

Mr Patten told the court: “I was undergoing depression at the time and was being treated at the doctor’s.

“Things have got a lot better since the incident and I’m in a much better situation.”

Gianpaulo Damiani, defending, suggested the court might want pre-sentence reports to be prepared on his client.

District judge Lachhar concurred and ordered a probation report, saying: “I don’t have custody in mind but possibly unpaid work or something else.”

Mr Patten was released on unconditional bail while the reports were prepared.

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