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Chester driver jailed for nine years following road rage attack

Victim suffered serious leg injuries after driver deliberately rammed him on a city centre pavement

Elliot Rollins, 20, from Linksway, Upton, was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of Section 18 wounding with intent. Picture: Cheshire Police

A former young soldier has made the decision to have his right leg amputated after suffering severe injuries when a driver deliberately drove into him after a petty squabble.

The early morning road rage row in Chester city centre took place just over a year ago and the victim, Ellesmere Port man Jonathan Evans, has undergone various operations to save his injured limb.

But the 22-year-old keen amateur footballer has now decided to have it amputated below the knee as it has not recovered as hoped and otherwise he will never be able to walk or run again.

The motorist responsible for his life changing injuries, Elliot Rollins of Upton, was today (Friday, September 1) sentenced to nine years detention after a jury at Liverpool Crown Court convicted him of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Elliot Rollins, 20, from Linksway, Upton, was sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of Section 18 wounding with intent in a road rage incident near Chester Railway Station.

The 20-year-old from Linksway had admitted being the driver but denied intending to cause Mr Evans harm but the jury rejected his account finding that he had used his car as a weapon.

After mounting the pavement and mowing down the victim, Rollins drove off in his Renault Megane.

Sentencing him the judge, Recorder Andrew Jefferies, QC, said “You must have realised some injury had been caused by the manoeuvre. You could hear Mr Evans screaming as you reversed away from the pavement.

“It was a momentary, albeit an extremely serious, loss of temper.”

During his trial Brett Williamson, prosecuting, said that about 3am on August 21 last year Mr Evans and his friends were making their way to get a taxi home by the railway station after leaving the Live Rooms.

They were on City Road when Rollins drove along and because of the speed he was doing they made comments and when he stopped words were exchanged between the group and those in the car involving shouting and swearing.

Punches were thrown by the passenger and one of the group and another threw a half drunk can of beer through the open window striking Rollins. He reacted by driving his car onto the pavement and Mr Evans, who was unable to get out of the way, suffered severe fractures to his right leg, foot and toes.

Recorder Jefferies said that Rollins was sober and had been driving home and by his own admission speeding and Mr Evans’ group shouted obscenities about his excess speed.

“It was the sort of reaction from them which people make to speeding motorists day in, day out. You could have chosen to ignore them and carry on driving. You did not.”

The judge said that he believed that it was the act of someone throwing the can of beer into the car that caused Rollins to act as he then did.

“It was at that point that you snapped and in a fit of anger or temper your turned your steering wheel directly towards the group, accelerated and momentarily intended to cause that group or another of them really serious harm.

“You used your car as a weapon, albeit momentarily.”

Rollins had been concerned at one stage that the victim might have died. “He did not but his life has changed irreversibly. He was a soldier at the time going through the process of discharge and his employment prospects are clearly jeopardised by the injuries you caused.”

He told Rollins: “As you repeatedly accepted in evidence you could have and should have simply driven off and two lives would not have been ruined that night.”

He pointed out that he had initially concocted a false story to absolve himself of blame but eventually accepted some responsibility and admitted driving dangerously causing serious injury, which was not accepted by the Crown.

The judge added that he accepted he was of previous good character and his remorse is genuine.

Bearded Mr Evans, who uses a wheelchair, read his impact statement to the court today in which he told how he tries to stay positive and sets himself goals and targets.

He had needed family help for the first two months to get up and down stairs and to shower and rarely went out instead relying on his girlfriend and friends coming to his home.

He has had six operations and had metal frames attached to his leg but despite all the medical treatment it has not healed as hoped and he was told in July he would need six or seven more operations in the near future.

Mr Evans, who is still in pain from his injuries, told how he had decided instead to have it amputated as in the long run it would give him “the best chance of a normal physical life and employment prospects.”

The victim, who used to enjoy going to the gym and playing football, said that if he did not go for amputation he would not be able to walk or run again.

Rollins was banned from the road for six and a half years and his car was forfeited.

Ian Harris, defending, said that Rollins was still a teenager at the time of the offence. He was supported in court by his family including his father, director of an IT company and his mum, a mental health nurse.

He had been working for a restaurant and like the rest of his family had never been in trouble before.

“The incident probably lasted just ten seconds. The intent must have been formed in hot blood. He expressed remorse in interview and in court and he understands the damage he has done to Mr Evans.”

DC Andy Manson, of Cheshire Police , said after the case: “The injury was so severe he has had to have numerous operations and he may never recover fully. The decision Rollins made in that moment has had serious consequences. I hope he now realises the consequences of his actions that night.”

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