A Wigan man with no criminal record launched a terrifying road rage attack on an elderly company director, knocking out many of his teeth.
Dad-of-three Colin Popplewell was jailed for 12 months after admitting following his victim home and launching the outrageous attack in front of the 69-year-old’s terrified and ailing wife.
You quite literally knocked his teeth out causing a number of injuriesThe judge, Recorder Mary Loram
The judge, Recorder Mary Loram, said: “This was a cowardly and vicious attack on a vulnerable man in his own home and the injuries were undoubtedly serious. You intentionally picked on a man who was vulnerable because of his age and it was premeditated.”
Victim Richard Sutherland is having on-going dental work with a potential £6,000 bill and the judge said that as well as his physical injuries he has suffered psychologically and he no longer feels safe in his own home and has had to put it up for sale.
“You quite literally knocked his teeth out causing a number of injuries,” she told the heavy set 47-year-old who sat with his head bowed during the hearing. Popplewell, of Derbyshire Road, Winstanley, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm.
Claire Jones, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the incident began when Mr Sutherland was driving in Timperley when he noticed Popplewell’s Audi “tailgating” him.
He turned left at lights and the two lanes merged into one and the Audi undertook him and he had to take evasive action to avoid a crash.
“The defendant in his Audi began beeping his horn and was generally aggressive in the nature of his driving,” said Miss Jones.
While they were in slow traffic Mr Sutherland got out of his car and asked the defendant “what the hell he was doing?” and swore at him, saying he should not have undertaken.
Popplewell got out of his car and said “OK” and they both got back into their cars and drove off and Mr Sutherland thought the matter was over. But near the Lymm roundabout he saw the Audi a few cars ahead of him.
He then followed Mr Sutherland to his isolated home in Lymm.
“The defendant got out of his car and followed the complainant down his driveway, round the side of the house towards the kitchen door. He confronted the complainant who described him as ‘extremely angry with his fists clenched.’
“Mr Sutherland tried to calm things down and back away from Popplewell who was shouting and swearing and then proceeded to attack him, punching him several times to the head and face.
His wife, who is not very well, came out and was pleading with the defendant to stop attacking her husband.
Popplewell walked off and when Mr Sutherland took his photograph he said: “Do you want to make something of this?”
Police and an ambulance were called and Mr Sutherland was taken to Wythenshawe Hospitalfor treatment.
He has since had an operation to remove shattered teeth and others had been split and fractured.David James, defending, said that Popplewell wished to apologise publicly for his out-of-character behaviour.
He said Popplewell “wanted to give him a piece of his mind about his driving, it wasn’t to assault him,” said Mr James.
Recorder Loram imposed a three-year restraining order to keep away from the victim.