A serving British soldier who left two teenagers in need of hospital treatment and suffering lasting psychological trauma when he deliberately rammed them into his sports car following a drunken argument has been jailed for eight years.
Cameron Bailey, who has since been discharged from the army, drank around six pitchers of spirits mixed with energy drinks and cocktails, as well as beers, before arguing with a group of young people in Salisbury, Wiltshire.
When Bailey, 25, saw them later, he drove down the pavement and, using his Skoda Octavia VRS ‘like a weapon’, sent them flying ‘like pins in a bowling alley’, the Salisbury court heard .
One of the victims, a 17-year-old girl, was thrown through the air and hit the windshield, suffering serious injuries to her heels and ankles, for which she had to undergo several operations.
She told the court: “I get flashbacks. I’m generally a very confident girl. This incident affected me so much, emotionally, physically and psychologically, that I don’t think I can fully recover.
The second victim, a 17-year-old boy, suffered lacerations to the head, one of which required six stitches and left him scarred for life. He said: “I couldn’t believe someone would use a car as a weapon. When I leave the house, I get very anxious around roads and groups of people because I’m afraid the same kind of thing will happen again.
On March 27, the day of the attack, Bailey, who was stationed in Tidworth, Wiltshire, went out drinking with three colleagues.
Charles Gabb, prosecuting, said he had “an unsociable and utterly ridiculous amount of booze” at a Wetherspoons pub in Amesbury. He then traveled to Salisbury for a pub crawl. “Around 5 p.m. he drank more pitchers at a Wetherspoons in Salisbury,” Gabb said. “He has now drunk five or six pitchers.”
Away from the pub, Bailey argued with a group of teenagers and made “crude threats” to them, but they were separated.
Bailey and her colleagues returned to her car to drive back to Tidworth. Gabb said: “He must have been absolutely seething and in a drunken rage.” The soldier drove past the teenagers then turned around and, without them seeing him, drove his car towards them.
Gabb said: “He deliberately drove on the sidewalk, using his car as the most appalling weapon, sending these youngsters flying like pins in a bowling alley.” It hit them at a minimum of 27 mph. In addition to the two injured, three others were knocked to the ground but were not injured. Bailey then returned to the barracks.
He admitted to causing grievous bodily harm, injury and dangerous driving.
Judge Susan Evans QC said Bailey used the car as a “fear weapon” when he was under the “extreme influence” of alcohol. She said he had to serve two-thirds of his sentence in custody instead of the usual half due to the seriousness of his offence.