CCTV shows driver ploughing car into victims outside nightclub on Christmas Eve

News

A man has been jailed for deliberately ploughing his car into pedestrians outside a nightclub on Christmas Eve.

Lee Clarke, 23, ploughed his Volkswagen Golf into a man and woman outside Revival Nightclub in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, while driving without headlights on.

Footage showed Clarke, from Rossendale, mounting the pavement before veering into his victims.

The Golf is then driven at the woman for a second time, before later being reversed at both victims, knocking the woman to the floor.

Clarke appeared at Burnley Crown Court where he was jailed for six-and-half years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He also pleaded guilty to unrelated dangerous driving and assault offences.

Police said they were called to Bacup Road in the town at 11.30pm on December 24, 2019 following reports that a blue Volkswagen Golf had mounted the outside the Revival nightclub and was driven at a man and a woman.

Prior to the incident outside the nightclub, there had been an altercation between Clarke and the two victims – a man and a woman who are both in their 20s – in a nearby pub.

During that incident the male victim was subjected to racial abuse and both he and the female victim were threatened with violence.

The victims then headed to the nightclub and Clarke got into the Golf.

It was while the victims were queuing to get inside the nightclub that the car was deliberately driven at them.

Dashcam footage from a nearby vehicle showed the Golf slows down once the victims are in sight and it then accelerates, mounting the kerb and hits both the man and woman side on and knocks them to the floor.

Clarke then drove the Golf up and down Bacup Road a number of times and only stopped when a member of the public threw a metal gate at the car’s windscreen.

DC Melisa Chadwick, of East CID, said: “I welcome the sentence handed down to Clarke and I hope it sends out a clear message that Lancashire Constabulary and the courts will not tolerate this reckless and despicable behaviour.

“Clarke made the conscious decision to turn his car into a weapon and it is extremely fortunate that it did not result in the death of his completely innocent victims or a member of the public.

“This incident caused a great deal of concern in the community at the time and I am glad this case has now been brought to a conclusion and Clarke will have a considerable time in custody to think about the consequences of his actions and how much worse it could have been.”