A man who drove into a stationary motorcyclist in a “hotheaded” act of revenge for the other man bumping into his car has been jailed for 11 years.
Robbie Cheetham, 23, ploughed into Callum Bracchi, 26, at a speed of 60mph, throwing him into the air and breaking both his legs in Dormanstown, near Redcar, on the evening of 13 August 2017.
Teesside crown court was told that it had been an act of retaliation after the wheel of Bracchi’s motorbike hit the door of Cheetham’s silver Audi, which he had had repaired the previous day.
Bracchi, a father of four, narrowly survived the impact and spent a month in hospital. The court was told that doctors had considered amputating his left leg and that he would never fully recover from the crash.
In a statement to the court, Bracchi said he was grateful to have survived and to be able to watch his children grow up but that he had been left only able to walk very slowly over short distances.
Cheetham, the court was told, was already serving a suspended prison sentence for dangerous driving after driving at 90mph in his grandfather’s BMW while being chased by police and crashing into a parked car.
Sentencing Cheetham to a total of 11 years in prison on Tuesday, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC described his actions as hotheaded. “You deliberately drove at Mr Bracchi and could have caused even greater harm than the horrendous injuries that were caused in any event,” he said.
“You caused serious injuries to Mr Bracchi, injuries he will suffer from for most of his life. He is a young man who should be able to play with his young children and you have deprived him of that by your actions. A motor car is a dangerous weapon when it is in the wrong hands.”
The prosecutor Shaun Dodds said Cheetham had been out for revenge, driving around the streets looking for Bracchi after he hit his car door.
“Mr Bracchi was stationary and checking his bike over when the defendant saw him and drove at him head-on at speed after swerving over on to the other side of the road,” he said.
Paul Abrahams, mitigating, told the court: “This was a hotheaded action and reaction to events. It was not akin to deliberately arming yourself with a knife or a gun. One could perhaps equate the car with that, but he was already in it and it was a short period of time between the damage to his vehicle and when he sadly saw Mr Bracchi.
“He had spent the previous day repairing damage on the vehicle. He was upset about that and completely overreacted to the situation.”