Judge gives Walsall families chance to make peace after feud erupted into road wars
A long-running feud between two groups exploded into violence with a series of car crashes, a judge heard.
The trouble started when a black Honda with 41-year-old Darren Wilson at the wheel and a white Audi driven by John Morris passed each other while travelling in opposite directions along Cresswell Crescent, Bloxwich on March 20, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
"Morris turned his vehicle around in the road and followed the Honda which was then reversed into the Audi," said Ms Katie Fox, prosecuting.
She added: "It was the first in a series of incidents in which both men used their vehicle to strike the other."
Soon afterwards the Audi rammed the rear of the Honda before colliding with a Toyota Yaris whose occupants had nothing to do with the dispute, the court heard.
Craig Oxford, who was a passenger in the Honda with his children, was worried for their safety, lived nearby and took them home before returning to check on the elderly people from the Yaris, continued the prosecutor.
Then 49-year-old John Morris and his son Luke, 26, ran towards Wilson and Oxford who were joined by 25-year-old Nathan Palmer as a fight broke out between the rival groups.
Palmer threw John Morris to the ground where he was attacked and was almost run over by a passing car as he staggered off following the violence, said Ms Fox.
Police arrested Oxford, Wilson and Palmer at the scene after receiving emergency calls from alarmed witnesses while John and Luke Morris were detained at their home. John Morris admitted he "saw red and lost it," the court was told.
All of the accused pleaded guilty to affray while Wilson and John Morris both admitted dangerous driving but Oxford, from Sandwell Street, Walsall, had also broken the terms of a suspended sentence.
He was jailed for two years by Judge Michael Challinor, who told him: "I accept there are two sides to this feud and you were not responsible for starting the violent incident."
The judicial peace maker then told the remaining defendants that, with their agreement, they would each have all restrictions removed and be given a deferred three-month sentence.
He explained: "I want to see if you can live an ordinary life without curfew or supervision and not create further trouble.
"I am satisfied that this feud between the families has lessened and there have been no further incidents of violence, damage or threats. In the event of this continuing for the next three months none of you will go immediately to prison."
He ordered probation reports on the four men and told the prosecution to have details of any further trouble with the names of those involved when the case resumes.
Palmer, from Bolton Way in Mossley, Wilson of High Road in Willenhall, and the Morris duo, from Abingdon Way in Bloxwich, are next due in court on March 30.