A PENSIONER who repeatedly rammed a contractor’s lorry with a JCB has lost an appeal to get his conviction for criminal damage overturned.
Seventy-six-year-old Robert Reynolds was seen on CCTV ramming the JCB into the lorry parked by gully contractor Graham Cane, the appeal heard.
Mr Cane, employed by Bagnall and Morris Ltd under contract to Suffolk County Council, had been sent to deal with a flooded section of Bardwell Road, Ixworth, last August.
He told how he had been approached by Reynolds who became abusive and threatening, warning him not to allow the flood water to drain on to his land.
He said that shortly afterwards, as his lorry partly blocked the farm gateway, Reynolds had rammed the rear of his lorry four times.
“I was fearful for my life,” said Mr Cane, who comes from Great Yarmouth.
Mr Cane said he fled to his cab and managed to drive off as Reynolds pulled alongside with the excavator.
The incident caused more than £2,500 of damage to the lorry and was captured by an on-board CCTV camera.
The images, showing Reynolds storming off and returning in the JCB, were played to the court.
Mr Cane denied that he had failed to move his lorry when requested to do so by Reynolds.
At a magistrates’ court hearing in April, Reynolds pleaded not guilty to causing criminal damage, claiming that Mr Cane had threatened him with a metal bar.
But magistrates found Reynolds, of Bardwell Hall, guilty.
Responding to Mr Cane’s evidence, Reynolds told the court that he had many years’ experience of driving large machinery and had not deliberately collided with the rear of the lorry.
He said it had been accidental as he tried to get past into a farm track leading to a livestock yard.
Reynolds alleged that Mr Cane had raised the metal bar he was carrying and feared he was going to be struck over the head.
“I thought I was going to die,” Reynolds said.
He also dismissed claims that he had deliberately driven the JCB at Mr Cane’s lorry as ‘rubbish.’
Magistrates at the original hearing had sentenced Reynolds to eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, while they also fined him £4,000, and ordered he pay £2,600 in compensation for the damage to the lorry and £950 in compensation to the driver.
Reynolds had also been ordered to pay £600 prosecution costs but as a result of the lost appeal that has more than doubled to £1,220 in prosecution costs.
However, a ban on Reynolds driving a tractor or digger for 12 months was amended so he is only banned from driving these vehicles on a public road.