A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl narrowly escaped serious injury after a crazed driver ploughed his car through the garden gates of a house where she had been playing.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Colin Readshaw used the vehicle as a weapon, causing a number of other youngsters, who had also been playing, to scatter in fear of their lives.
The 22-year-old, who has more than 60 criminal convictions, knocked over a child's bike, causing it to become meshed to the front of the Peugeot, as he attempted to run over a youth with whom he was said to have “history”.
Prosecuting, Martin Towers said Readshaw had already driven onto a field in pursuit of the victim and then followed him back to his home in Middlesbrough after he ran off.
Mr Towers said: “The defendant followed in his car and smashed through the gates, driving the car right up towards the house where the two year-old had been.
“Fortunately the victim had managed to pick her up and brought her rapidly into the passageway of the house.”
The prosecutor said a neighbour, who provided a witness statement, felt sick as she believed the girl had in fact been run over.
Readshaw didn't stop there however, reversing his car, while spinning its wheels, and driving it repeatedly towards the house – on one occasion straight at the victim's father.
He eventually drove off after throwing bricks at the property.
Readshaw, of Brough Court, Middlesbrough, previously admitted attempted wounding, affray and dangerous driving on September 29 last year – but only after his trial had already started.
A co-accused, a 17-year-old female, who was a passenger in the car, pleaded guilty to a public order offence.
Yvonne Taylor, mitigating, said Readshaw was a troubled young man who had an “awful lot of growing up to do”.
She said: “He has a five year old son and his family are giving him immense support in the hope he will be able to move forward.
“He does regret his actions and feels sorry for the upset he has caused.”
Judge George Moorhouse said Readshaw's offences were very serious, but he accepted there had been a background of trouble between him and the injured party.
He jailed him for two years. The 17-year-old co-accused, whose involvement was said to be minimal, was given a six month referral order.