Jail for driver in road attack

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN motorist was jailed for 12 months yesterday after she admitted running over and killing a mother-of-two after a road-rage attack.

Carla Hunter, 25, struck Gina Armitage, 26, with her Mercedes and knocked her to the ground. She then reversed back over her and drove off, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Hunter, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. An earlier charge of manslaughter was dropped.

Richard Marks, for the prosecution, said the trouble started after the two women began rowing over a collision between their two cars in the early of hours of May 5 last year.

Mr Marks said the facts did not show either the defendant or the victim in a good light. Hunter allegedly drove into Ms Armitage's VW Golf in Moss Side, Manchester. As the Mercedes drove away, someone from the Golf threw a bottle at it. Later when Ms Armitage and her friend stopped for a takeaway, someone smashed the back window of her car.

The two women then met again by coincidence at a nearby blues club. Ms Armitage and her friend attacked the Mercedes, which belonged to Hunter's husband, with stones.

At a later stage, Ms Armitage attacked the car again, this time with what appeared to be a golf club or broom handle. Mr Marks said: "Gina Armitage was somewhere towards the middle of the road when the Mercedes struck her as it accelerated to the lights. The Mercedes then drove a matter of yards, it reversed, drove first backwards and then forwards over Gina Armitage's prostrate body."

Ms Armitage, who had two children - Nathalie, then 10, and Nathan, then eight - died in hospital.

Peter Wright QC, for the defence, said Hunter was frightened when Ms Armitage came at her car with a stick. She said she was trying to escape and did not attempt to harm Ms Armitage.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Sachs said: "It was a momentary dangerous act and it was not deliberate and there was a sorry background which involved Gina Armitage bearing some responsibility. I have to tell you, in my view, that your responsibility for this may only properly be dealt with in the way of a custodial sentence."

He sentenced Hunter to 12 months' jail, disqualified her from driving for two years and ordered her to retake her driving test.