Glasgow Housing Association van driver spared jailed

Glasgow Eyes Magazine

News / Glasgow / Courts

A man who drove a Glasgow Housing Association van at a man who shouted, “your houses are rubbish” has been spared jail.

24 year-old Darren Clark was captured on camera driving the vehicle at Lewis McGhee which saw him hit the bonnet and land on the ground.

Clark – who had his dad James in the van – then drove off from the scene at Carrbridge Drive, Maryhill in December 2017.

Mr McGhee was taken to hospital but refused treatment although returned when he was unwell and kept in for a few days.

Clark, from Knightswood, Glasgow, was traced back to the van captured on footage that was later given to the police.

He was initially charged with attempting to murder Mr McGhee but the charge was reduced.

He pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to assaulting Mr McGhee on December 2, 2017 to the danger of his life.

Sheriff Daniel Scullion told Clark “I am perfectly satisfied custody is plainly an appropriate disposal.”

He said “in all the circumstances” he was persuaded to give him a community payback order as an alternative and acknowledged it was accepted by the court that Clark intervened when he saw his dad in an altercation.

The sheriff ordered that Clark is supervised for 12 months, and he must carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay the victim £500 compensation.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months.

Clark’s dad, James, 50, was also charged with the assault but his not guilty plea was accepted by prosecutors.

Footage of the shocking incident emerged online and circulated round social media.

The court previously heard that some time after mid-day Mr McGhee was walking down the road and shouted “your houses are rubbish” at the Glasgow Housing Association van on the street.

He got into an argument with James Clark, who got out of the van, being driven by his son.

Clark then drew up beside his dad and Mr McGhee, who threw a punch at Mr Clark.

The court heard Clark then also go out the van and the three men tussled in the street, moving to the corner of the road.

Clark and his dad then got back into the van and reversed before he drove at Mr McGhee.

He was smacked by the van and landed on the bonnet before hitting the ground and the pair drove off.

The court was told initially that Clark worked for GHA, but defence lawyer Mark Allen said Clark was a City Building employee but work was contracted by GHA.

A woman in a flat overlooking the street captured the incident on her phone, that later emerged online and was given to the police.

Clark was tracked down through his work.

Mr McGhee was taken to hospital but refused treatment although had to return because he was unwell.

It was accepted there was a potential danger to his life because he was hit by a van, but he was kept in hospital because of a complication with his diabetes.

Mr Allen said it was a “moment of madness” and Clark has “expressed sincere regret about his behaviour and his actions”.

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