Victim delighted at road rage sentence

THE victim of an horrific road rage attack which almost left him blind in one eye has said he was "highly delighted" his attacker has been jailed for nine months.

THE victim of an horrific road rage attack which almost left him blind in one eye has said he was "highly delighted" his attacker has been jailed for nine months.

John Nash, from Chevington, near Bury St Edmunds, was punched in the face after almost being run off the road by Philip Richardson, who subjected him to what he called "The most terrifying experience of my life".

Jailing Richardson, Judge John Holt said he had put Mr Nash through an episode of "road bullying" and insisted a prison sentence was the only suitable punishment open to him.

A court heard Richardson, 27, had punched Mr Nash in the face after he wound down his car window at the end of a terrifying 30-minute night-time ordeal on the road between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.

Richardson was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court last year.

During the trial, Mr Nash said Richardson had tailgated him and had then overtaken at speed. A little further down the road Richardson braked, causing Mr Nash to swing round him to avoid a crash.

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The jury was told Richardson then followed Mr Nash as he turned towards his home in Chevington and tried to run him off the road.

Mr Nash, 53, said his ordeal had ended when Richardson had approached his car and punched him in the face.

Sentencing him at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court yesterday, Judge Holt told Richardson: "Having wound down his window, first of all you swore at Mr Nash and then with your fist you struck him a blow in the face.

"You split his cheekbone and when he was taken to hospital, there was serious concern that he had also damaged his eye – fortunately, he had not.

"You terrified your victim – I'm told that you are terrified at the prospects of a prison sentence. Perhaps you will appreciate how Mr Nash felt when he was followed and assaulted by you."

Speaking last night after the case, Mr Nash said: "I think it's brilliant, I am absolutely delighted."

Mr Nash, who admitted he still refused to drive along that road at night on his own, added: "I will never forget what happened. I was absolutely aghast and terrified that something like this could happen in a quiet country lane.

"It was a terrifying ordeal and he deserves it."

Richardson, of Church Close, Rede, near Bury St Edmunds, sobbed as he was led from the dock.

Craig Rush, mitigating, said that Richardson, captain of the third team coach of the under 14s side, would lose his job and his long-term relationship if he was jailed. was a man who put a lot back into the community.

"If ever a lesson needed to be learned, it has well and truly been learned by this defendant. He is a man terrified of the consequences of custody."

During his trial, Richardson claimed Mr Nash had been driving erratically and he had followed him to talk about his driving.

Richardson said he had lashed out at Mr Nash after he (Mr Nash) had driven off and clipped his car with his wing mirror, causing him to fall backwards.

But Judge Holt said the claim there had been an element of provocation and self-defence in the case had been rejected by the jury.

Nicholas Medcroft, prosecuting, said Mr Nash was making a civil claim for compensation from Richardson. Mr Nash's glasses were broken in the attack and it cost him more than £300 to have them replaced.

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