Drink-driver reversed car over man's head in Tipton

A mother drove her car at a crowd of people after a row erupted among drinkers, before running over a man twice, and then lying that her car had been stolen in a bid to avoid justice, a court was told.

Abigail Ratcliffe was today starting a 10-month jail sentence after admitting a series of offences for dangerous driving while over the drink limit, as a court was told it was a 'miracle' her teenage victim had not been more seriously hurt.

Ratcliffe had been drinking at the Harrier pub in Tipton when a row broke out in the early hours, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told yesterday.

Mr Simon Phillips, prosecuting, said she went to her car, while intoxicated, and took a 'good few minutes' to manoeuvre it out of its parking space.

He said she then drove at speed towards the crowd of people who were point shouting at each other. The court was told that a male passenger then got out of the car and punched an 18-year-old to the floor.

Mr Phillips added: "The vehicle then reversed over him. It actually reversed over his head."

The car then drove away, but returned and ran over the victim's legs. He suffered bruising to his face and side of the head, and multiple superficial abrasions. He still suffers headaches, is wary of cars, and does not socialise in pubs as much as he used to, the court heard.

Mr Phillips told the court that Ratcliffe drove away, and then phoned 999 six times claiming her car had been stolen.

She told the police her car had been found burnt out while also calling her friend who works at the Harrier pub to inquire about CCTV.

Ratcliffe, aged 24, of Beverston Road, Tipton, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and attempting to pervert the course of justice. Ms Paula Bagnall, defending, told the court that Ratcliffe, who is a mother of two, was deeply remorseful and very grateful that the victim was not seriously injured.

She asked for any prison sentence to be suspended because she has two young children, she did well at school and was in employment, which she would lose if she went to jail.

Judge Michael Dudley told Ratcliffe: "You drove in a way that it was almost inevitable that injury was going to be caused. By some miracle they were not serious injuries."

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