Remorse to happiness in just minutes

IN COURT he was the picture of remorse and regret.But after avoiding a prison sentence, despite falling foul of motoring laws for the third time, Andrew Grinham is all smiles.

IN COURT he was the picture of remorse and regret.

But after avoiding a prison sentence, despite falling foul of motoring laws for the third time, Andrew Grinham is all smiles.

As he walked away from Ipswich Crown Court, the 29-year-old gave the thumbs up and grinned like a Cheshire cat.

He was before a judge for driving his van into a car, ramming his vehicle out of the way and speeding off in a road rage incident, while having no licence or insurance.

It follows previous offences in 2004, when he was reprimanded for driving without a licence, and in 2000, when he was found to be behind the wheel and over the drink-drive limit.

However, it was third time lucky for Grinham, of Felixstowe, who this time escaped with a suspended sentence, a curfew order and community service.

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The car he struck in the crash was so badly damaged it was written off. The two women inside were left shaken up and suffering with whiplash, in an incident labelled by the judge as “road rage”.

The offence, on July 19, took place in Waveney Road, where Grinham was living at the time.

The court heard Grinham was travelling at speeds approaching 45mph in a 30mph zone when his Renault van skidded and ploughed into the car driving in the opposite direction.

He was then seen by his startled neighbours swearing angrily before revving his engine and driving forward into the car again, ramming it until he had forced it back far enough for him to pass.

As he did so, Grinham, of Coronation Drive, struck two other stationary vehicles, causing several hundred pounds of damage.

He handed himself in to police the following day.

The self-employed painter and decorator had already pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Nicholas Cotter, mitigating, said his client, a father-of-one, was ashamed of his behaviour.

He said: “He is the first person to put his hand up and say he has no excuse. Within the 24-hour period, reality dawned on Mr Grinham.”

Sentencing Grinham to a six-month suspended prison sentence, Recorder Michael Pooles, said: “You should be deeply ashamed of yourself.

“Having come into collision with these two ladies who were doing nothing wrong you then compounded the offence by what can only be described as road rage, ramming their car out of the way in order to escape from the scene.

“You have been a very fortunate man today. Make sure you are never standing in that dock again.”

Along with the suspended sentence, Grinham was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and given a six-month curfew order. He was told to pay £700 compensation and £100 towards court costs.

N Do you think Grinham's punishment is fair? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail