A motorist who deliberately drove his van at a pensioner walking near Cranbrook has been sentenced to 15 years for attempted murder.
Charles Wood used his vehicle to mount a pavement and deliberately collide with the victim at high speed.
Wood had been traveling in the Sandhurst area on 2 March 2020, when the incident took place. At around 1.20pm he saw the victim, a man aged in his 60s, walking on a pavement in Rye Road. After driving his vehicle at him he then sped from the scene.
Police and ambulance crews attended and the victim was taken to hospital with injuries including a bleed to the brain, a bruised aorta, as well as a broken back and ribs. The victim spent a number of months in hospital.
Witnesses described seeing a silver panel van being driven in the area moments before the collision. Enquiries quickly led to Wood being identified as the suspect and when officers attended his home address, a short distance away in Rye Road, the van was found parked outside with damage to its windscreen and bonnet.
Wood was located on the following day and arrested. An investigation revealed he lived close to the victim and had previously been involved in a long running land dispute.
At Maidstone Crown Court, the 59-year-old denied any wrongdoing. The court heard Wood claim he had no recollection of the collision, having previously sustained a head injury after falling from a ladder. A trial took place and Wood was found guilty of attempted murder. He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday 13 April 2022. Wood will have to serve a minimum of two thirds of his sentence and will also be disqualified from driving for 12 years and six months on his release.
Detective Chief Inspector Garry Cook, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘Wood used his van as a weapon and his actions left his elderly victim suffering a number of appalling injuries. It is only by chance that the victim survived this unprovoked assault, although there is little doubt these serious injuries will have a profound and long-lasting effect.
‘As well as the lasting physical scars the impact of this crime will likely have a significant psychological impact on the victim for the rest of their life. I only hope today’s sentence will provide some closure and reassurance that at least justice has now been served.’