BMW-driving jealous husband ‘tried to mow down love rival’

A jealous husband mounted the pavement in his BMW and sped at a man he believed was his wife’s new partner.

Jason Howman, 43, of Seacrest Avenue, Fleetwood, denies a charge of dangerous driving and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

Jurors were told his alleged victim, Stephen Smith, had to leap over a garden wall to avoid a collision during the incident on January 5.

Howman had pulled up beside alleged victim at around 1.45pm, the court heard.

Mr Smith, who is a friend of Howman’s estranged wife Lauren, was at junction of Colwyn Avenue and Vicarage Lane in Blackpool close to the Evans Halshaw Ford dealership.

Prosecuting, Claire Larton said: “It would seem the defendant thought they were in a relationship.

“Mr Smith would say not. In any event you may feel this is not important in what took place.

“Mr Smith was at the junction in a residential area, at a zebra crossing.

“He had visited the post office and was continuing his journey on foot to pick up his children from school as they had a hospital appointment.

“As he walked he heard, then saw, a silver BMW. The driver was this defendant. He was waving, gesticulating and shouting ‘Steve’.

“He stopped and spoke to Mr Smith.”

She said a conversation took place in which he said he was Lauren’s husband and about their marriage breakdown, mortgage and custody arrangements.

She added: “You might not be surprised to hear that he said ‘It’s nothing to do with me, mate’ and thought that was the end of the matter.

“The defendant became more and more irate and agitated, swearing, shaking and visibly angry. He asked if Mr Smith had slept with Lauren.

“Mr Smith was concerned because her child was in the back of his car while this argument was taking place. Because of his concerns Mr Smith went to walk away.

“The defendant then drove his vehicle dangerously. He turned his vehicle around in the road so he was facing the way Mr Smith was walking. He then allowed two men who worked at Evans Halshaw to cross the road.

“He then accelerated hard and drove directly at Mr Smith. He mounted the pavement and Mr Smith, to avoid being hit, jumped over a garden wall and into the garden of a property nearby. Once he jumped over the wall the defendant drove off still at speed along Colwyn Avenue, having driven for some distance along the pavement.”

However, Howman denied driving at him in a police interview and claimed Mr Smith was “trying to be the big man.”

Giving evidence, Howman described two incidents in the lead up to the alleged offence in which he had a dispute with his daughter’s mother about meeting single dad Mr Smith, first at a Hallowe’en party and secondly at Christmas.

He said his daughter lived with him for four days of the week.

Howman said he knew Mr Smith was a single dad, and claimed his ex had said he was a “nice guy” who wanted to talk to him, and had told him they were going to “get together.”

He said: “ My attitude is fairly simple – if she had been with him a long time, it’s solid and stable then fine, but when you first meet someone it’s not right she should have one bloke in then another bloke in.”

His defence lawyer asked: “Was that the reason you wanted to speak to him?”

He replied: “Yes and it was her that told me to speak to him.” He said he had pulled over in his BMW to take a phone call – not to approach Mr Smith – but coincidentally Mr Smith, within 10 seconds, came “walking towards me in the car.”

He told the jury he was concerned as he had heard Mr Smith used cannabis and added: “He didn’t want to answer the questions I put to him.”

It is alleged a conversation took place in which he said he was Lauren’s husband and about their marriage breakdown, mortgage and custody arrangements and that Howman became more and more irate – which he denies.

It is claimed he turned his vehicle around in the road, allowing two men who worked at Evans Halshaw to cross the road, before accelerating hard at Mr Smith.

(Proceeding)