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Saxmundham: Man leapt from moving car over fears he was going to be attacked, court hears

PUBLISHED: 15:28 15 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:28 15 July 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A man jumped out of a moving car because he feared he was going to be attacked, a court has heard.

Ryan Church tumbled over a number of times in the road and was briefly knocked unconscious after throwing himself out of a car driven by 25-year-old Scott Abbott, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Mr Church was not seriously harmed in the fall and his injuries were confined to damage to tendons in his right ankle and grazing to his knee, hip and back, said Richard Potts, prosecuting.

The court heard that Mr Church was walking through Saxmundham at lunchtime on March 11 when Abbott stopped his car and ordered him to get in.

The two men knew each other and there was some bad feeling resulting from Mr Church’s relationship with Abbott’s former partner, said Mr Potts.

“When Mr Church got in there was a heated exchange and as that increased Mr Church, fearing he was going to be the victim of a serious assault, decided his only way out of the situation was to jump out of the car,” said Mr Potts.

“He grabbed the door handle and pushed the door open and left the car and fell into the road.”

The incident lasted about five minutes and afterwards Mr Church said he didn’t want to take the matter any further, said Mr Potts.

Mr Church failed to attend court for the first day of Abbott’s trial for a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, which he denied.

A guilty plea to a less serious offence of common assault was accepted and the prosecution offered no evidence on the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Abbott, of Crown Street, Leiston, had been in custody since his arrest in March and had served the equivalent of an eight month prison sentence.

Jailing him for four months, Judge Rupert Overbury told Abbott that he had an “appalling” record for violence and said he had “real concerns” that Mr Church had not attended court to give evidence because of some form of intimidation which was not directly attributable to Abbott.

The judge warned Abbott that unless his behaviour improved he faced the prospect of long prison sentences in the future.

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