Motorist who drove into pedestrians in Dartford jailed
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A motorist who intentionally drove a car into a group of people standing in Dartford High Street has been jailed for seven years.
Following a fight with a man on a pub dancefloor, which continued into the street, Bradley Knapp got behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta and accelerated towards a group of people.
He missed his intended target but hit two innocent bystanders before fleeing the scene and travelling to Spain.
The 27-year-old, of no fixed address, was found not guilty of attempting to murder pedestrians but admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and committing an act to pervert the course of justice.
He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 5 October 2021 and, in addition to his time in custody, he will serve a two year extended licence.
Knapp become involved in altercation with a man, who declined to engage with police, shortly after he attended The Clipper public house at around 11.30pm on 11 October 2019.
It took place on the dancefloor and led to both men throwing punches at each other before security escorted them off the premises – through different exits.
After being ejected, Knapp walked a short distance and entered a blue Ford Fiesta.
After being driven back to the pub, Knapp and the driver got out of the vehicle and began assaulting the same man Knapp had fought inside the venue.
A disturbance involving a number of men then took place.
As the brawl continued, Knapp ran back to the Fiesta, got into the driver’s seat, and accelerated at speed towards a group of people outside the pub.
Two men were then struck by the vehicle, with neither of them involved in the fight.
One of the victims, who was in his 20s at the time, sustained a fractured right shoulder and a fractured left wrist, in addition to facial injuries and bruising across his body.
The second victim, who is in his 40s, sustained bruising across his body.
Attempting to escape capture
Knapp abandoned the vehicle, after it collided with a parked car, and ran from the scene. Various pieces of CCTV showed him to be the offender and his DNA was also found on a reusable shopping bag inside the car.
A hunt to locate Knapp, which included issuing a wanted person appeal, led to investigators discovering that he had left the United Kingdom after boarding a ferry in Dover.
He was driven to the Port of Dover by an associate, who booked a hire car and a ferry which Knapp used to travel to France. He also provided Knapp with a passport, which belonged to someone else.
Knapp was detained by Spanish authorities in Tenerife in September 2020 and extradited to the UK a month later. Upon his arrival, he was promptly charged with the offences and has been remanded in custody since.
In July 2020, his associate was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court for two years and three months’ after he admitted perverting the course of justice and unrelated charges of supplying cannabis and possessing criminal property.
Detective Constable Mike Rake, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Knapp committed a senseless and excessive act of violence that could have easily had fatal consequences.
‘Whatever provocation he may have felt he had experienced, there are no mitigating circumstances for using such force – force which led to two innocent people being injured.
‘His willingness to use such violence, coupled with his failed attempt to escape justice, shows him to be an exceptionally dangerous offender and I am pleased he has now faced justice.’
In addition to the grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice counts, Knapp was also sentenced for an unrelated count of dangerous driving. This relates to an incident which took place in Swanscombe in August 2019.