A MAN caused the car his wife was driving to flip over and land on its roof when he pulled the handbrake after she refused to stop the vehicle during a row.
Steven Oldfield took the ‘highly irresponsible’ action in Southsea as his wife was giving him a lift to Fratton train station in Portsmouth so he could go to a rugby match at Twickenham.
After a trial, the 58-year-old retired sound engineer was found guilty of causing a danger to other road users by interfering with a motor vehicle.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Oldfield was a passenger in the car being driven by his wife when an argument broke out.
A debate between the pair over picking up others or meeting other people en route, and what the best arrangement was for doing so, became heated during the journey to the station.
Oldfield eventually decided that he wanted to get out of the vehicle and shouted at his wife to stop the car.
Addressing Oldfield, Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing, said: ‘The argument got rather heated to the point you decided that you wanted the car to stop and you wanted to get out of the car, and so you shouted at your wife to stop the car.’
He added: ‘You shouted at her to stop the car and when she didn’t you pulled on the handbrake sharply, causing the car to go out of control, hit a kerb and roll onto its roof in the middle of the street.’
The court head that Oldfield has spent his time doing worthwhile work with schools and other people, mainly on a voluntary basis, since he has retired.
He has no previous criminal convictions.
Judge Hetherington gave Oldfield a 12-month community order.
He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the next year for committing the offence on April 27 last year.
He must pay £1,000 in court costs and was banned from driving for six months.
Judge Hetherington added: ‘It was fortunate indeed that someone was not seriously injured.
‘Your wife was slightly injured.
‘You yourself may have been slightly injured, but it was fortunate that no other bystanders or other vehicles were damaged or injured in any way.
‘Nevertheless it was a highly irresponsible thing to have done, for which there was no excuse whatsoever, and it could have caused a very serious accident.
‘I accept at the time you may have had a very stressful day the day before.’
Judge Hetherington added that there is no suggestion that Oldfield, of Lindley Avenue, in Southsea, who represented himself at the sentencing hearing, is a dangerous or careless driver.
But he said: ‘The court must take a serious view of these things.’