A single mum who ploughed her Ford Fiesta into a stranger in a Tesco car park in a fit of road rage anger has been spared prison predominantly for the sake of her children.
Aimee Palmer, 28, ploughed her Ford Fiesta into Paramjit Malhi following a brief row with him whilst leaving the superstore in Hodge Hill, Birmingham.
The bus driver was sent flying into the air breaking his ankle upon landing and has since been left traumatised by the incident.
Palmer, of Gilson Drive, Coleshill was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a trial.
At Birmingham Crown Court last Friday she was sentenced to 18 months suspended for a year and banned from driving for three years. She was also ordered to pay £500 costs, attend 12 days rehabilitation activity and adhere to a three-month curfew between 7pm and 7am.
The mum-of-two, who is on benefits and has a previous conviction for driving with excess alcohol, was assessed unsuitable for unpaid work for health reasons , Birmingham Live reports.
Judge Andrew Smith KC said: “In your favour I am persuaded there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.
“As significant is my being satisfied a sentence of immediate custody would result in a significant harmful impact on your young daughters.
“Appropriate punishment can be achieved by a suspended sentence.”
The incident took place around 4pm on June 8 last year when Palmer began to reverse out of her parking bay at Tesco and stopped abruptly after seeing Mr Malhi walking behind her car.
She said: “Can’t you see I’m f***ing reversing?”, the trial head.
The pedestrian carried on walking but Palmer backed out, revved her engine then ran him down. She carried on driving immediately after the impact only to return a few minutes later and say: “I’m sorry I didn’t mean it.”
Palmer stayed at the scene until police arrived but later blamed Mr Malhi by claiming he ‘zig-zagged’ in front of her car. The allegation was rejected by Judge Smith who did however accept she did not intend to hit him.
He said: “I find your offending involves significant culpability. Yours was an aggressive piece of driving in which you sought to frighten a vulnerable pedestrian. I acknowledge the dangerous driving occupied a comparatively short period of time. It caused significant physical and psychological harm to Mr Malhi.”
The court heard that the victim was unable to work for a number of months and is still suffering pain and stiffness.
Mr Malhi also stated his mental health had ‘suffered severely’.
Prosecutor Timothy Sapwell said: “It has left him traumatised. He can’t sleep. He has nightmares about his leg. He was scared when he went out. The sound of cars going quickly and revving caused him to be anxious.
“He points out he could have been killed in the incident. He also points out he could have fallen badly and injured himself more severely.”
Sharon Bailey, defending, stated Palmer regretted her actions and argued she did not leave home that day intending to hurt anyone. She said: “She drove at Mr Malhi with the intention to frighten or scare him. She didn’t intend to hit him. It was a short term burst of temper.”
The barrister continued that her client was ‘genuinely frightened and upset by coming to court’ and not a ‘hardened criminal’. Ms Bailey added: “She is a young woman with two young children.
“Your Honour may think in all the circumstances it would be disproportionate to send her to prison.”
In his sentencing remarks Judge Smith said: “Your deliberate dangerous driving caused a significant risk of danger. I accept you are a low risk of further offending. I also recognise you are a parent of two very young children.
“I accept your description to probation of terror of being separated from your children.
“I have read references which demonstrate you to be a caring parent and for who this conviction is out of character. I have concluded your offending is so serious the custodial threshold is passed.”