A driver deliberately drove into a group of youngsters during a mass disturbance which saw a knife and other weapons produced, a court has heard.
Alec Lavelle then reversed into another car before fleeing the scene.
The 22-year-old later went to a nearby house and smashed all the ground-floor windows with a hammer as terrified children screamed in their beds upstairs.
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Mold Crown Court heard the incidents took place on the evening of September 20 last year in Rhyl.
Elen Owen, prosecuting, said that at around 7pm Lavelle arrived in Ffordd Las in his red Peugeot car and became involved in a “disturbance” with a group of youths. She said words were exchanged between the driver and members of the group on the street before one of the youngsters produced a knife. In response someone in the defendant’s car handed Lavelle an item though the exact nature of it is not know.
The court heard Lavelle then got back into his car and mounted the pavement before driving directly at the youngsters causing them to scatter. Some ran into the road while others jumped over a fence into playing fields. Lavelle hit a bicycle which had been abandoned on the pavement then reversed his car into a nearby Mercedes.
The prosecutor said no statements had been taken from the youngsters involved as police had been unable to trace them and they had not come forward. Though the driver of the Mercedes was spoken to he refused to give officers a statement.
Miss Owen said that later that evening Lavelle, with his face covered, went to a house in nearby Kingsley Avenue and smashed all the ground-floor windows of the property with a hammer. The three young children of the family who lived in the house were asleep upstairs at the time and were woken by the sound of smashing glass. Blood samples recovered from the broken windows were subsequently matched to the defendant. Lavelle was arrested and gave a “no comment” interview to officers. The total cost of repairing the smashed windows was £1,116.
Alec William James Lavelle, of Marine Road, Abergele, Conwy, had previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and to criminal damage when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. He has 25 previous convictions for 50 offences.
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Simon Killeen, for Lavelle, said while driving towards people on the pavement was clearly a serious matter in reality the defendant had only been driving slowly. He said it was accepted his client has “an appalling record for one so young” but it was clear from the contents of a pre-sentence report that he was keen to work with probation and take whatever help they could offer.
Judge Nicola Jones said the circumstances of the disturbance in Ffordd Las had been “somewhat unusual” with words exchanged and a knife produced. She said she accepted the speed involved in the dangerous driving that followed had not been high. The judge said Lavelle had then gone and and smashed the windows of a house while the children of the family were upstairs “screaming and clearly terrified”.
Giving the defendant a 25% discount for his guilty plea to dangerous driving the judge sentenced him to 12 months in prison and giving him a one-third discount for his plea to criminal damage she sentenced him to one month for that matter. Judge Jones said because of the length of time Lavelle had already served in prison after being recalled for previous offending, and given the delay in the case coming to court, she would make the two sentences run concurrently rather than consecutively. The defendant will serve up to half the 12-month period in custody before being released on licence. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Source: Wales Online