Drunk man, who plowed car into crowd outside pub as 'revenge' after girlfriend dumped him, gets 12 years in jail

James Bates was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he plowed his hatchback into the pub in Littlestone, Kent, and injured seven people


                            Drunk man, who plowed car into crowd outside pub as 'revenge' after girlfriend dumped him, gets 12 years in jail

A motorist who plowed into a crowd gathered outside a pub, injuring seven people in the process, is said to have sought "revenge". Now, dramatic video footage from the incident has gone viral across social media. According to Kent Online, 25-year-old James Bates got into a scuffle with bouncers and was subsequently "dragged out of the pub".

On November 24, 2017, Bates whipped his silver Vauxhall Corsa at the crowd at a speed of 33 miles per hour before crashing into and wrecking the front door of the antique Cinque Ports Arms, a 700-year-old pub in Littlestone, Kent. When asked by authorities why he rammed into the crowd, Bates said he was upset after being dumped by his girlfriend and was trying to kill himself. He also revealed that he snorted a line of Ketamine as soon as he got into his car, Daily Mail reports.

James Bates, 25, was jailed for 12 years at Canterbury Crown Court (Kent Police)
James Bates, 25, was jailed for 12 years at Canterbury Crown Court (Kent Police)

However, Judge Simon James told the attacker: "This was an appalling incident where you used your car as a weapon with the intention of inflicting serious injury of multiple victims," adding that it was a "miracle" nobody was more seriously injured. The judge also told Bates, "I have no doubt that this was done in revenge or retaliation."

Matthew Lamb, a student and amateur footballer, fractured his arm and leg as the car rammed against him and others. Speaking to Kent Online, the landlady of the pub voiced concern for her business partner's pregnant wife: "I saw Sarah, his wife, she was distressed and in shock. It hit me seeing Sarah that Kevin was outside. We didn't need to say anything but we were both thinking 'oh my god who has been killed or injured?'"

Kent police cordoned off the area outside the pub. (Twitter)
Kent police cordoned off the area outside the pub. (Twitter)

Bates, of Blenheim Road, Littlestone, Kent, was found to be well over the drink-drive limits and further tests revealed he also had a cocaine by-product in his body. A spokesman for Kent Police said: "It hit the building by the front door, as well as a number of people who had been standing outside at the time. Among the injuries reported, a man was hit directly by the car, suffering fractures to his leg and arm. Minutes before, Bates had been removed from the bar by staff after he got into a number of altercations with other customers while drinking there. When arrested shortly after the collision, Bates told police he could not explain why he had driven at the crowd of people."



 

Detective Constable Chris Brett said: "James Bates was seen to drive his car around the block in order to accelerate his car into the crowd of people standing outside the pub, showing this was a pre-meditated attack. Considering the damage a car can cause, the people who were outside the pub at the time of the collision are fortunate their injuries were not worse. Regardless of injury, to be targeted in such a frightening and unprovoked way can have wide-reaching detrimental effects on those involved. I thank those who have assisted with and supported the investigation and subsequent prosecution."

The attacker pleaded guilty to one charge of grievous bodily harm (GBH) and six charges of attempted GBH. He was sentenced to 12 years behind bars at the Canterbury Crown Court.