Ipswich: Dangerous driver who drove at woman spared jail

FELIXSTOWE: A van driver who caused a woman to jump out of the way, as he sped through a supermarket car park after attacking a man, has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Jason Beall is also banned from driving for a year after he kicked Gareth Offord in the stomach before driving through Morrisons’ car park in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, at around 30mph.

Beall, of King’s Way, Ipswich, had threatened to do worse to Mr Offord than he had done to Mr Offord’s father during an incident in 2005, for which Beall was jailed for 12 months.

At the 29-year-old’s latest trial Ipswich Crown Court heard the woman had to take evasive action as she was trying to make a note of his registration number while he fled.

The incident happened at 7pm on May 13.

Mr Offord claimed he saw Beall drive “straight at” the female who was near the exit of the supermarket.

He said the woman had put her hand up to stop Beall and had to move back a few steps to avoid being hit by his van.

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Off-duty police officer Hannah Richardson who witnessed what happened estimated Beall was driving at around 30mph.

She added Beall did not make any attempt to stop or slow down.

Deputy store manager Helen Knight Da Silva also told the court two or three car drivers, who were reversing out of their parking spaces, had been forced to pull back in as Beall drove past.

Beall was convicted of dangerous driving following a trial, and had previously admitted common assault on Mr Offord.

Beall was given a 12-month prison sentence – eight for the dangerous driving and four for the assault – suspended for two years. In addition, he was given a restraining order preventing him from contacting Mr Offord or his family.

Beall is also under a two-year supervision order and will have to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.

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