Suspended sentence for man convicted of dangerous driving in Bury St Edmunds

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A man convicted of dangerous driving in Bury St Edmunds has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Luke Messetter, 39, denied the offence but last month he was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

Messetter, of St Andrew’s Drive, Fornham St Martin, was found not guilty of two offences of assault and one of causing criminal damage. The judge discharged the jury from returning a verdict on a charge of causing actual bodily harm.

Today (Friday) Messetter returned to the same court to be sentenced by Judge John Devaux for the dangerous driving offence.

Messetter received a sentence of four months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was disqualified from driving for 15 months after which he will have to pass an extended driving test to regain his licence.

The prosecution alleged that the incident followed an argument between Messetter and members of the family of a friend.

It was claimed that Messetter had ‘lost it’ during an argument after turning up at the home of Caroline Longden, in Bury St Edmunds, on the morning of August 16 last year.

Miss Longden said: “At first it was friendly. After a while he was trying to come on to me, making advances. He was drunk before he arrived.”

Because of her concerns, Miss Longden said she sent a text message to her son Ryan Tyler asking him to come to the house and he arrived within half an hour.

Miss Longden’s daughter Kyra Tyler and her partner Andrew Vernoum also turned up and, together with Ryan Tyler, asked Messetter to leave, claimed Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting.

It was then that the alleged assaults took place, claimed Mr Sorel-Cameron and Messetter used his van to ram Mr Vernoum’s car and then driven at him.

The court heard claims that Mr Vernoum, who stood in the way of Messetter’s van, was struck by it and carried along on the bonnet for 150 metres.

Messetter said he had been acting in self-defence during the incident and denied having deliberately damaged Mr Vernoum’s car or driven towards him.