A soldier who deliberately drove at a group of teenagers after downing six pitchers of cocktail has been jailed for eight years.
Cameron Bailey, 25, of the Mooltan Barracks in Tidworth, Wiltshire, had spent the afternoon of 27 March drinking with three fellow soldiers.
Since his conviction, Bailey has been sacked from the army, the court heard.
Bailey and his friends had started off in a Wetherspoons pub in the village of Amesbury, where Bailey drank an “unconscionable, unrealistic and ridiculous” amount of alcohol, prosecutor Charles Gabb QC said.
The four then piled into Bailey’s blue Skoda and headed for Salisbury and began a pub crawl.
CCTV showed Bailey deliberately turning his car around
Over the course of the day, the defendant admitted drinking five to six pitchers of cocktail by himself, as well as two pints of beer and Jagerbomb shots.
After being refused entry to a pub at around 9.30pm, Bailey and his friends got into a verbal argument and then a scuffle with a group of teenagers, which was broken up by bouncers from nearby bars.
During the fight, Bailey was heard yelling insults of “gratuitous offensiveness” including threatening to rape their sisters and kill their mothers, Salisbury Crown Court heard.
The group then decided to leave Salisbury and head back to the barracks with Bailey at the wheel, but drove past the group of teenagers in Fisherton Street.
Bailey was caught on CCTV deliberately turning his car around once he spotted the group, driving slowly in their direction, pausing for around 21 seconds before accelerating towards them.
‘I will never feel as safe as I did before’
He hit the group of five at a speed of at least 27mph, forensic analysis showed, throwing one 17-year-old girl into the air and onto the windscreen, leaving her with severe injuries to her feet and ankles.
She was in hospital for four days following the attack, and has suffered extreme anxiety as a result, particularly in crowds and close to roads, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement she said: “This incident has hit me so hard, emotionally, physically and psychologically to a point where I don’t think I’ll ever make a full recovery.”
A 17-year-old boy also suffered cuts and bruises, and will have a permanent scar on the left side of his face, the court heard.
Describing the impact the incident has had on him he said in a statement:”I couldn’t believe that I had been hit by a car. I couldn’t believe that someone would use a car as a weapon like that.
“In time I hope I can move on from what happened, but I know that I will never feel as safe as I did before and I’m worried I’ll never be able to get over what happened to me.”
The other three teens present were knocked to the ground, but were uninjured.
Bailey then drove off, and was found in bed by his sergeant “reeking of alcohol” at around 11pm.
The defendant initially claimed it was an accident, and that he had accidentally hit the accelerator while looking for a cigarette.
Bailey used his car as a ‘fearsome weapon’ against teens
He later admitted causing two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent against the two teens, and one of dangerous driving.
Jailing Bailey for eight years, Judge Susan Evans QC said: “In your rage you deliberately drove at (the teenagers) using your car as the most fearsome weapon against them.”
She continued: “You drove off, there was no attempt to stop, call an ambulance or show any concern whatsoever.
“You drove all the way back to the barracks putting other road users in extreme danger.”
Judge Evans told Bailey he must serve two-thirds of his sentence in custody instead of the usual half because of the seriousness of his offence, and because he has a previous conviction for alcohol-fuelled violence.
She also banned him from driving for at least seven years, telling him he must pass an extended test before he ever gets behind the wheel again.
The court heard that Bailey has a previous conviction dating back to 2018 for bottling a man at a house party who tried to intervene when he was harassing his ex-girlfriend.
Bailey was further convicted of assaulting his ex on the same evening by grabbing her around the throat, and given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years.
Bailey showed ‘shocking disregard’ for consequences
Speaking following the sentence, Detective Constable Luke Taylor, said: “I hope the sentence handed to Bailey today gives his victims some comfort and will help them move on from their ordeal.
“The fact that Bailey took the decision to use his car as a weapon and deliberately drove it at a group of people demonstrates a shocking disregard as to the consequences of his actions.
“And to compound this, he drove away from the scene, leaving two teenagers with physical injuries that required hospital treatment and mental scars that may take longer to heal.
“I would like to pay tribute to the victims and witnesses who supported this investigation and played a key role in bringing Bailey to justice.”