Woman 'feared for her life' as man drove digger into her legs, car and Blackwood house

  • The moment a man drives a digger into his brother's former partner's home.

A man who drove a digger into a woman's legs, car and house has caused damages expected to cost thousands of pounds.

Mark Holmes, of Brynheulog Street in Penybryn, carried out the "drunken revenge attack" towards Paula Brown outside her home in Blackwood, Caerphilly.

The mum-of-two explained how she "feared for her life" as her former partner's brother drove the JCB into the building, leaving her with heavy bruising and £28,000 worth of damage.

Newport Crown Court heard how Ms Brown and her 15-year-old son were both inside the house when the incident happened on 8 November 2022.

Ms Brown said Holmes "looked at me with the most evil look on his face". Credit: Media Wales

A "culmination of family problems, misunderstandings and disagreements" led to the incident, but Ms Brown claimed she had done nothing to provoke a retaliation and the "revenge" was based on falsehoods.

She and her son were watching TV when they first heard the noise: "I thought 'What the hell is that noise? Is it a delivery truck.' My son was drifting in and out of sleep on the sofa. I looked through the window and was like 'Oh my God, it's a JCB coming towards my house'."

Ms Brown went to the front door to see 56-year-old Holmes in the driving seat: "He lifted my car in the air, it must have been about 7ft, and dropped it inches away from me. I was in total shock, gobsmacked."

Ms Brown is still struggling with pain since the incident. Credit: Media Wales

She added Holmes then rammed the digger into the brick wall of the house.

"I'm shouting and bawling, and he comes at me then. He was looking at me with the most evil look on his face and he headed straight for me. He smashed the bucket down on my left foot and almost ripped my boot off.

"He caught both of my feet but my left was worse. There was just enough room to move my foot. If I hadn't, it would have gone over me and I think it would have ended up killing me."

Ms Brown's son started to bang on the digger's glass whilst pleading with Holmes to stop.

Holmes was given a restraining order, suspended sentence and driving ban. Credit: Media Wales

For three months Ms Brown, her son and daughter were unable to stay in the property, which sustained damage to the toilet, piping, brickwork and front door frame - as well as the garden and left two cars written off.

Holmes did not say a word to her at any point in the attack, which was filmed by a worker in a nearby van Ms Brown said.

An X-ray showed Ms Brown had no fractures, but both of her feet were covered in "dark, nasty bruising". She said she is still struggling with pain from what feels like a "ridge" inside her left leg.

"I can't sleep. I wake up every few hours, having nasty dreams and feeling like I'm being crushed. My first week in the place we're staying, someone must have been drunk, banging the bus stop at the bottom of the street, and I was in a panic after what I'd been through."

After the attack, Holmes drove to Blackwood Police Station and confessed he had taken his son's digger. Credit: Media Wales

Ms Brown was also upset to lose her Ford Focus, which her children had bought for her the year before.

"It was second-hand but I thought the world of it," she said.

"It was immaculate, such a lovely car. The roof was all pushed up and everything was smashed. It was absolutely awful to see it like that."

After the attack, Holmes drove to Blackwood Police Station and confessed he had taken his son's digger.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, damaging property, dangerous driving and drink-driving. He denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but admitted the lesser charge of battery.

Holmes was sentenced to 16 months suspended for two years. Judge Duncan Bould said Holmes escaped custody "by a whisker". He was given a 10-year restraining order, banned from driving for three years and ordered to wear an alcohol abstinence monitoring tag for 120 days and to do 200 hours of unpaid work.