A LEARNER driver sent a man flying over his bonnet after revving his engine and deliberately running him over before he bit a girlfriend’s cheek.

Brad Thomas, 24, mowed down James Rowlands by using a Vauxhall Astra as a “dangerous weapon” in front of the victim’s horrified parents and neighbours.

The first incident happened in Senghenydd, Caerphilly, after a crowd had gathered in the street to witness the defendant and a woman “screaming and shouting”.

Thomas “lunged” at Mr Rowlands who fought him off before the former ran off and returned in the car.

Clare Wilks, prosecuting, said: “The victim was struck by the vehicle and ended up going over the bonnet.


“Mr Rowlands landed on his shoulder and he heard it go pop.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the victim’s father was also struck by the Astra.

Miss Wilks added: “The defendant then tried to reverse and collided with a parked van.

“Neighbours were trying to take his keys out of the ignition.

“The defendant then hit a bollard before Mrs Rowlands did take the keys out of the ignition and he ran off.

“One witness said, ‘It was surreal. It was like something out of a movie. The sound of James Rowlands being hit was horrific.’”

The victim was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, where he was treated for multiple soft tissue damage.

The prosecutor said: “There was the use of a vehicle as a dangerous weapon and this was a prolonged incident.

“The defendant revved his engine before hitting the victim and he hit a vehicle when he tried to leave the scene.”

The second matter took place in Merthyr Tydfil a couple of weeks later when he bit a girlfriend’s cheek after “begging her to meet him”.

Thomas, of Perrott Street, Treharris, Merthyr Tydfil, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one charge of dangerous driving.

He also admitted driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Both offences took place in September 2020.

David Pinnell, mitigating, said his client had already served the equivalent of an 18-month jail sentence after being held on remand in prison since his arrest in January.

His barrister told the court how Thomas was “badly beaten” at the scene after running over Mr Rowlands.

Mr Pinnell added: “The defendant was dazed and badly bruised. There was some summary justice obtained from that case.”

The judge, Recorder David Harris, said: “You lunged at James Rowlands.

“He defended himself and you ran off.

“You got into your car and you drove at him and you carried him down the street before he was thrown off.”

Thomas was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to complete 29 sessions of an accredited programme and carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant was banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to sit an extended driving test.

Thomas must also pay a £149 victim surcharge.