David Patterson leaves Ipswich court.
David Patterson leaves Ipswich court.

‘Bad parking’ leads to driver striking man with car

IN A volatile outburst, a disability pensioner damaged a ute he believed was parked too close, before running down its owner.

David Edward Patterson, 62, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle at West Ipswich on April 15, 2019; failing to comply with duties of a driver involved in a crash; and doing wilful damage.

Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said the three charges resulted from an incident in the carpark of the IGA supermarket at West Ipswich.

Believing his vehicle had been parked in, the court heard Patterson damaged the door of the adjacent parked ute by intentionally banging his door on its body panel several times. The court heard the damage bill $506.

A witness told police Patterson pushed him backwards and verbally abused him when they tried to intervene.

Patterson then got into a Nissan wagon and reversed.

The ute’s owner then arrived and waved his arms to attract the driver’s attention but Patterson drove forward and knocked the man off his feet.

Mr Tsoi said Patterson then drove away.

Defence barrister Justin Thomas lodged a medical and psychologist’s report, and sought a sentence with a probation order that takes into account his serious health issues.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the victim parked beside Patterson’s car and instead of Patterson waiting until the owner returned so he could more easily get into his car, he reacted in a disproportionate way.

Ms Sturgess said he deliberately opened his car door four or five times against the other vehicle causing minor dents or scrapes.

When a witness confronted him Patterson pushed that person back while swearing at him.

After reversing from the parking space he drove forward and struck the owner of the parked vehicle then drove off.

The man suffered a cut foot and bruising, the court heard.

Ms Sturgess said he told police afterwards that he feared the man (ute owner) would climb through the window and attack him.

When police watched the incident on CCTV she said it was seen that the driver did not approach his window, and not behaved aggressively toward Patterson.

“The person who did act in an aggressive and threatening manner was you,” Ms Sturgess said.

“It was somewhat bizarre. You deliberately damaged his car and deliberately drove at the person knocking him to the ground causing minor injuries.

“It is extremely fortunate he did not suffer more serious injuries or you would be facing a more significant charge.”

Ms Sturgess noted his lack of criminal history and accepted he had been going through difficult personal times.

Patterson was sentenced to a six-month jail term for dangerous driving, suspended for 18 months.

He was placed on an 18-month probation order and ordered to pay $506 compensation. His driver’s licence was disqualified six months.

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