Furious bride-to-be spared jail for driving 3.5 miles with fiance on bonnet
A FURIOUS bride-to-be snapped in an explosive row with her fiancÃ© as she drove off in a Range Rover '“ with him clinging on the bonnet for 3.5 miles.
Shelly Bertram swerved, braked hard and drove on the A3M as she tried to shake off Clive Gibbs in an incident branded ‘insane’ by a judge.
Builder Clive suffered cuts and bruises to his head, legs and arms, and at one point his feet were dragged along as she ignored his screams for her to stop the personalised car he had bought her.
The businesswoman, who runs a cleaning firm, flew into a rage just two weeks before their wedding after a night out when she spotted Clive, 48, smoking indoors.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard he went outside their home in High Trees, Waterlooville, with her then getting into the 4x4 and driving forward.
As Clive tried to stop her drink-driving, he jumped on the bonnet but she ‘floored it’ down to London Road and up the A3M until he jumped off at the slip road at junction 2 for Horndean.
Injured and left on the slip road, a passing taxi only spotted him by the light of his mobile phone as he called 999.
Now Bertram, 43, of Middle Park Way, Leigh Park, has been spared by judge David Melville QC who said: ‘This was totally out of character to you. However insane and a moment of madness, it was totally out of character.’
He ordered Bertram to do 200 hours of unpaid work, banned her from driving for 18 months with an extended retest, and gave her an 18-month jail term suspended for two years. She must pay £1,200 costs.
Mum-of-two Bertram admitted dangerous driving, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and drink-driving on the first day of her trial last month.
But Clive, who met Bertram on the dating website Plenty of Fish, has been left picking up the pieces of his shattered life since the incident.
Speaking to The News about the night he said: ‘I went outside, and the Range Rover I bought as a wedding present, I heard it starting up.
‘I looked at the driveway and with that she drives out to where I’m standing.
‘I grab the bonnet and she drives from Highland Avenue up to the A3 slip road for 3.5 miles with me on the bonnet hitting the brakes and swerving.
‘I was screaming “I love you, stop the car what are you doing to me?”
‘I was crying, screaming, holding on. We got on the slip road, I remember losing grip – I’m being dragged along, with one arm holding on.
‘I’m losing grip, hanging on for dear life screaming as she went to the roundabout, I knew I was going to let go. I thought I would when she slows.
‘She hit the brakes, and I let go just before she got off.
‘I was on the motorway slip road, pulled myself into the hedge and called an ambulance.
‘A taxi driver got out and two girls got out as the driver administered first aid.
‘If she’d got up the road, hit the brakes and I fell off I’d probably get married – but it was 3.5 miles.
‘I’ve never been so scared in my life, I thought I was dead that night.’
Bertram fled to her friend’s house, before then going to another man’s house where she was arrested by police, the court heard yesterday.
At the station a breath test revealed she had 48 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35.
She ‘doesn’t pause for a moment to check if he’s alright’ after Clive jumped off the bonnet, prosecutor Kelly Brocklehurst told the court.
A collision investigation report found she had driven 3.5 miles, with Clive at one point holding on to the scuttle of the car before jumping off.
Clive said he was paying for Bertram’s anger management therapy at the time following a brief split in their two-year relationship.
The self-employed builder said he lost a £250,000 roofing contract after not being able to cope with work in the months after the June 12 incident last year.
He said: ‘It has destroyed my life, after that I felt absolutely gutted.
‘I didn’t realise, it’s not a normal relationship – it was like walking around on egg shells waiting for that explosion.
‘That night absolutely destroyed me. She was supposed to be marrying me.
‘She said she loved me, and never loved anyone like it and that she’d been waiting for someone like me all her life.’
Clive has since been helped by Victim Support and sold the £550,000 detached home.
‘I had to get out the house, I hated that so much. I honestly loved that woman.
‘My life had been destroyed, I’m slowly starting to rebuild it.
‘I’m still not fully gone back to work, sometimes I wake up at 2am or 3am thinking about that night.
‘I just wanted to know why? Why did she do it? I’ll never know.’
He is now being supported by his teenage son, who he lives with in the area.
He and Bertram were due to marry on June 25 at Rivervale Barn in Yateley, with a £10,000 honeymoon in Thailand and Dubai.
In court, Bertram’s barrister James Caldwell said she told probation Clive was her ‘soulmate’ but added: ‘Like any relationship it had its difficulties and troubles.’
Mr Caldwell said Bertram was involved in ‘such a sad tragic event’ after she received ‘devastating news that two weeks previously she was told she wouldn’t be able to fit in her wedding dress’.
Mr Caldwell added: ‘She took that very much to heart.’