Portsmouth man jailed for 4.5 years after driving Fiat Punto at man outside Southsea pub
A MENACE who mowed down a rival in his car during a street fight before driving off was jailed.
Ryan Balch ploughed his Fiat Punto into a 37-year-old man close to the Marmion pub in Marmion Road, Southsea, during a prolonged street battle between warring groups on August 23.
The 31-year-old mounted the pavement in his vehicle before crashing into the male - causing him to be thrown onto the bonnet before thumping against the windscreen and hitting the ground.
Miraculously the man only needed four stitches to his head and four stitches to his knee after he ‘luckily’ avoided further injuries, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Earlier Balch smashed a metal bar onto the same man’s head during the scrap after the victim had also been struck with the same weapon by another person.
The court heard how Balch, of Guildford Road, Fratton, went to the scene with a woman who went to confront her partner.
Tempers flared before Balch and the woman left and returned with two other people as events boiled over.
One of the gang used a metal bar to smash a Mercedes belonging to the woman’s boyfriend, the court heard, with Balch also striking the car with the bar.
Balch, who initially attempted to stay on the fringes of the melee, said at one point: ‘I don’t want to go back to jail for this.’
But the defendant was eventually drawn into the thick of things - resulting in him running down the rival.
‘Instead of stopping or defusing the situation you did the opposite and increased the seriousness of the incident,’ Recorder James Waddington QC said.
‘You drove your Fiat Punto at the man, mounted the pavement and hit him which threw him over the bonnet and onto the windscreen before you drove off.
‘You’re fortunate he was not seriously injured.’
A video shown to the court revealed the gruesome moment Balch accelerated into his target following fighting and shouting in the busy street.
Balch, who admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and damaging property, committed the crimes while on licence for a previous offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Recorder Waddington jailed Balch for four and a half years but said the sentence would have been longer had the injuries been more serious.
‘You intended to cause more harm than was sustained. What saves you is that you did not cause any serious injury,’ he said.