A serving British soldier who left two teenagers needing hospital treatment and suffering lasting psychological trauma when he deliberately ploughed into them in his sports car following a drunken row has been jailed for eight years.
Cameron Bailey, who has since been dismissed from the army, drank about six pitchers of spirits mixed with energy drinks and cocktails, as well as beers, before getting into a row with a group of young people in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
When Bailey, 25, saw them later, he drove on to the pavement and, using his Skoda Octavia VRS “as a weapon”, sent them flying ‘”like skittles in a bowling alley”, Salisbury crown court heard.
One of the victims, a 17-year-old girl, was thrown into the air and hit the windscreen, suffering serious injuries to her heels and ankles, for which she has needed several operations.
She told the court: “I get flashbacks. I am usually a very confident girl. This incident has hit me so hard, emotionally, physically and psychologically to a point where I don’t think I’ll ever make a full recovery.”
The second victim, a 17-year-old boy, suffered lacerations to his head, one of which required six stitches and left him scarred for life. He said: “I couldn’t believe that someone would use a car as a weapon. When I leave the house I’m very anxious around roads and groups of people as I’m scared that the same sort of thing may happen again.”
On 27 March, the day of the attack, Bailey, who was stationed at Tidworth, Wiltshire, went out drinking with three colleagues.
Charles Gabb, prosecuting, said he had “an unsociable and utterly ridiculous amount of alcohol” at a Wetherspoon pub in Amesbury. He then drove to Salisbury for a pub crawl. “At about 5pm I have drank more pitchers in a Wetherspoon in Salisbury,” said Gabb. “He has now drunk five or six pitchers.”
Away from the pub, Bailey became involved in an altercation with a group of teenagers and made “foul threats” to them, but they were separated.
Bailey and his colleagues returned to their car to drive back to Tidworth. Gabb said: “He must have been absolutely seething and in a drunken rage.” The soldier drove past the teenagers, then turned and, without them seeing him, aimed his car at them.
Gabb said: “He quite deliberately drove on to the kerb, using his car as the most appalling weapon, sending these young people flying like skittles in a bowling alley.” I have hit them at a minimum of 27mph. Along with the two who were hurt, three others were thrown to the ground but escaped injury. Bailey then drove back to barracks.
He has admitted causing grievous bodily harm, wounding and dangerous driving.
Judge Susan Evans QC said Bailey used the car as a “fearsome weapon” when he was under the “extreme influence” of alcohol. She said he must serve two-thirds of his sentence in custody instead of the usual half because of the seriousness of his offense against him.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism