Cheshire – A boy of 14 suffered a broken leg when a young mother ran him over for playing “knock and run” at her home.
The youngster and three friends had been carrying out the childhood prank on residents in a Cheshire village.
But when they knocked on Nicole Lyons’s front door, she shouted from an upstairs window that she would “slit their throats”.
Soon afterwards the mother-of-two drove her partner’s powerful BMW at the boys, hitting two of them. One suffered a broken leg, while another injured his back and was left with cuts and bruises after being thrown into the air. Two were unharmed.
The youngster whose leg was broken needed emergency surgery and spent six weeks in plaster, Chester Crown Court was told.
Police who arrested Lyons, 25, found a draft of a threatening Facebook post on her mobile to a local residents’ group that said: “Just so you know boys you messed with the wrong house.
“Do not come near my house again. You will have your throats ripped out, I’ve seen your faces. I will be speaking to your mummy’s and daddy’s [sic].”
Lyons narrowly avoided jail on Wednesday after admitting grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving, assault, failing to stop and failing to report an accident. Judge Simon Berkson told the mother, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, the boys “were innocent victims of [you] using the vehicle as a weapon”. He added: “They were playing a teenage game that has been played in this country [for decades].
“This was a very dangerous piece of deliberate bad driving and you are fortunate the injuries were not worse than they were.”
The court heard teenagers in the area had been playing knock and run in the days leading up to the attack on January 2 last year.
The prank, also traditionally known as “knock down ginger”, involves ringing a doorbell and running off before the homeowner answers.
Myles Wilson, prosecuting, said the group of boys ran away after targeting Lyons’s home in the village of Tarvin. But 15 minutes later she borrowed her partner’s BMW 4 Series to go to the shop.
On her return she spotted the group at the entrance of the housing estate where she lived and accelerated at them.
All four wheels of the BMW mounted the pavement and the car hit two of the boys as they tried to flee. Lyons, who initially denied threatening the boys, claimed they had been swearing at her and she had only driven slowly at them.
But photos from the scene revealed tyre marks on the pavement that contradicted her account and she eventually admitted driving dangerously.
Lyons, who apologised to the boys as she left the dock, was given 20 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, and a two-year driving ban.
In a victim impact statement, the injured child said he still suffered anxiety. Another said he hadn’t been able to get Lyons’ ‘angry face and noise of the engine out of his head’. Wayne Jackson, defending, admitted his client had ‘over-reacted’.