Jail for ‘horror movie’ driver

David Acklam, given four years at Bradford Crown Court on two counts of GBH and one count of driving whilst disqualified.
David Acklam, given four years at Bradford Crown Court on two counts of GBH and one count of driving whilst disqualified.

A MANIAC driver who ran over two men outside a pub while banned from driving has been jailed for four years.

David Acklam, 27, drove into Robert Fernley in Park Lane, Siddal, Halifax, sending him flying into the road before turning round and driving back towards him.

Bradford Crown Court heard Acklam was driving towards his head before veering at the last second, driving over his legs and leaving him with a shattered kneecap and severe bruising to his body.

The scene outside the Exley Park Hotel, Siddal, on January 23, was described as “something out of a horror film” by witnesses.

Acklam, of Beeston Hirst, Rochdale Road, Halifax, who had been disqualified from driving last year, had gone to the pub twice that evening with his wife Rachel and friends John Morley and David Handley.

Mr Morley was a former boyfriend of the landlady and she was reluctant to serve them on the first visit and when they returned she asked them to leave.

The court heard witness statements from the landlady who said that five minutes later “all hell broke loose outside”.

Abigail Langford, defending, said that an altercation had occurred and Mr Hanley had been knocked to the floor by a group outside the pub and Acklam reacted to try and rescue him.

However, in driving towards the group he inadvertently drove over Mr Hanley’s arm leaving him with a broken finger and bruising to his upper body.

CCTV footage from the evening was played in the courtroom which showed Acklam’s Citroen Picasso driving at groups of people outside the pub, stopping and then reversing back towards them repeatedly for around five minutes.

The headlights on the vehicle were turned off but witnesses could still make out Acklam behind the wheel.

Another witness from a house opposite the pub described hearing screeching tyres and that the driving was the worst he had ever seen.

Acklam and his wife were later picked up by police and when questioned he told them it was his wife behind the wheel.

Judge John Potter, sentencing, said: “I have no doubt it was an extremely frightening episode causing physical and pscychological harm to your victims.”

Acklam pleaded guilty to two counts of grievous bodily harm and one count of driving whilst disqualified and was sentenced to four years