Man who drove at pedestrians following Ipswich pub row gets 18 year sentence

A man who deliberately drove into pedestrians in Ipswich after an argument in a pub has been given an 18-year sentence.

Thomas Broughton, 32, from Ipswich, was found guilty of four offences in September including causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

He will serve a minimum of 12 years in custody, with the remaining period on licence. 

Broughton received sentences as follows:  

-    Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (18 years imprisonment)-    Two counts of attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (10 years imprisonment to be served concurrently for each offence)-    Dangerous driving (Two years imprisonment to be served concurrently and disqualified from driving for four years, with a 12-year uplift, so 16 years in total until test passed) 

He cleared by the court of three counts of attempted murder.

Just after midnight on Sunday 8 March police were called to a collision on St Helens Street where a black Audi A3 had been driven at a group of six men.

Three of them were hit by the car - two of the victims were hurt and taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.

However, one of the three – aged in his 40s – was later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He suffered serious head and brain injuries and only left a rehabilitation centre in August after five months of treatment. Police say he can only walk short distances with help. 

The police investigation found that the collision followed an earlier incident between Broughton – who was accompanied by two other people - and the victims outside the Waterlily Public House in St Helens Street. 

At around 12.15am the group of six men left the pub and words were exchanged with Broughton, resulting in some pushing and shoving and punches thrown. The short scuffle was broken up and the group of men walked off towards the town centre. 

Broughton walked around the corner to a car park in Regent Street and got into his black Audi A3, which he then drove out into St Helens Street.

He mounted the pavement near the Elmy Cycles shop, where he collided with the men. He then drove off towards the town centre, going through a red light. 

Just over an hour later, Broughton called the police control room stating he wanted to hand himself in. He returned to the scene of the collision and was arrested by officers just after 1.30am. 

During the trial, Broughton denied deliberately driving at the men and said he had not intended to kill anyone, claiming that he accidentally swerved onto the pavement after “seeing a flash”. 

The jury found him guilty by a unanimous verdict of deliberately intending to cause grievous bodily harm to the victims.  

Police said they had no doubt Broughton drove at the men on purpose.

“This was an extremely mindless and dangerous action, motivated at most by a minor skirmish outside a pub, which apparently took place following his belief that someone in the group had directed a comment towards him. 

T/Det Supt David Henderson, Senior Investigating Officer