A jealous dad has been found guilty of dangerous driving after speeding in his BMW towards man he believed was his ex’s new partner.
Jason Howman, 43, “accelerated and drove hard” at Stephen Smith, even mounting the kerb, leading Mr Smith to leap over a garden wall to avoid being hit.
Smith, who is a friend of Howman’s estranged partner Lauren Lake, was on his way to pick up his children from school on January 5 this year when the defendant drove up to him and introduced himself as Lauren’s partner.
Howman, of Seacrest Avenue, Fleetwood, said he knew Mr Smith was a single dad and claimed his ex Lauren had said he was a ‘nice guy’ who wanted to talk to him. He said she had told him they were going to ‘get together’.
Claire Larton, prosecuting, described the events leading up to the incident – which took place at the junction of Colwyn Avenue and Vicarage Lane in Marton.
She said Howman had flagged down Mr Smith and a conversation had taken place in which he talked about their marriage breakdown, mortgage and custody arrangements.
Mr Smith said the matter was ‘nothing to do with him’ but Howman continued.
Ms Larton said: “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 (Mr Howman’s) 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.”
Howman denied driving at Mr Smith in a police interview and claimed Mr Smith was “trying to be the big man”.
Giving evidence, Howman said his daughter lived with him for four days of the week.
Howman said he had pulled over to take a phone call and it was Mr Smith who had approached his car.
A jury rejected Howman’s story and found him guilty of dangerous driving yesterday.
Howman will be sentenced in August.