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Moment drunk driver deliberately crashes into crowd of people outside pub

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This is the moment a drunk driver drove his car into a crowd and injured seven people outside a pub.

James Bates, of Blenheim Road, Littlestone, Kent, has been jailed for 12 years at Canterbury Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to one charge of grievous bodily harm and six charges of attempted GBH.
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The 25-year-old drove his silver Vauxhall Corsa at the crowd outside the pub in New Romney High Street on 24 November last year.

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Bates deliberately drove his car into the crowd at 33 mph outside the 700 year old – just minutes after he had been removed by bar stuff.

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He claimed he had just split from his girlfriend and had been trying to commit suicide after snorting ketamine in the vehicle.

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Judge Simon James told him it was a miracle that no-one was seriously injured.

He added: You made a quite conscious decision to drive your vehicle at speed into deliberate collision with innocent people standing outside the pub.

This was an appalling incident where you used your car as a weapon with the intention of inflicting serious injury of multiple victims.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout photo issued by Kent Police of James Bates, who has been jailed for 12 years at Canterbury Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to one charge of grievous bodily harm (GBH) and six charges of attempted GBH. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday November 16, 2018. The 25-year-old had driven his silver Vauxhall Corsa at the crowd outside the pub in New Romney High Street on November 24, 2017. See PA story POLICE Pub. Photo credit should read: Kent Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

James Bates has been jailed for 12 years (Picture: PA)

New Romney Kent Friday 16th November 2018 A drink-driver driver has been jailed for 12 years for deliberately driving into a crowd of people standing outside a 700 year old New Romney pub - leaving seven people with injuries. Witnesses later described the impact of the ?revenge? attack was so shocking "it was like a bomb going off". James Bates' Vauxhall Corsa smashed into the Cinque Ports Arms in High Street in New Romney at 33 mph and became embedded into a wall. The 25 year old claimed he had just split from his girlfriend and had been trying to commit suicide after snorting ketamine in the vehicle. Nor Judge Simon James told him it was ?a miracle? that no-one was seriously injured. He added: ?You made a quite conscious decision to drive your vehicle at speed into deliberate collision with innocent people standing outside the pub. ?This was an appalling incident where you used your car as a weapon with the intention of inflicting serious injury of multiple victims. ?I have no doubt that this was done in revenge or retaliation.? Victim Matthew Lamb, Lydd student and amateur footballer, received fractures to his left arm and right leg. The judge said: ?Others were mercifully extremely lucky and avoided serious physical injury but that was only through simple good fortune.? Landlady Sharon Epps later told how she feared that her business partner and the landlord, father-of-four Kevin Gibbons - whose wife was pregnant in November last year - had been killed or injured. She said: "I saw Sarah, his wife, she was distressed and in shock. It hit me seeing Sarah that Kevin was outside. "The impact was so fierce I was so scared about what I might see..." Landlady Sharon Epps "We didn't need to say anything but we were both thinking 'oh my god who has been killed or injured?' "I had a sick feeling in my gut. I went outside to see what the situation was. I was fearing the very worst. The impact was so fierce I was so scared about what I might see. When I

He deliberately drove into a crowd of people standing outside a 700 year old New Romney pub (Picture: UKNIP)

I have no doubt that this was done in revenge or retaliation.

Victim Matthew Lamb, a student and amateur footballer, suffered fractures to his left arm and right leg.

The judge said: Others were mercifully extremely lucky and avoided serious physical injury but that was only through simple good fortune.

Landlady Sharon Epps later told how she feared that her business partner and the landlord, father-of-four Kevin Gibbons – whose wife was pregnant at the time – had been killed or injured.

A Kent Police spokesman said: It hit the building by the front door, as well as a number of people who had been standing outside at the time.

Among the injuries reported, a man was hit directly by the car, suffering fractures to his leg and arm.

New Romney Kent Friday 16th November 2018 A drink-driver driver has been jailed for 12 years for deliberately driving into a crowd of people standing outside a 700 year old New Romney pub - leaving seven people with injuries. Witnesses later described the impact of the ?revenge? attack was so shocking "it was like a bomb going off". James Bates' Vauxhall Corsa smashed into the Cinque Ports Arms in High Street in New Romney at 33 mph and became embedded into a wall. The 25 year old claimed he had just split from his girlfriend and had been trying to commit suicide after snorting ketamine in the vehicle. Nor Judge Simon James told him it was ?a miracle? that no-one was seriously injured. He added: ?You made a quite conscious decision to drive your vehicle at speed into deliberate collision with innocent people standing outside the pub. ?This was an appalling incident where you used your car as a weapon with the intention of inflicting serious injury of multiple victims. ?I have no doubt that this was done in revenge or retaliation.? Victim Matthew Lamb, Lydd student and amateur footballer, received fractures to his left arm and right leg. The judge said: ?Others were mercifully extremely lucky and avoided serious physical injury but that was only through simple good fortune.? Landlady Sharon Epps later told how she feared that her business partner and the landlord, father-of-four Kevin Gibbons - whose wife was pregnant in November last year - had been killed or injured. She said: "I saw Sarah, his wife, she was distressed and in shock. It hit me seeing Sarah that Kevin was outside. "The impact was so fierce I was so scared about what I might see..." Landlady Sharon Epps "We didn't need to say anything but we were both thinking 'oh my god who has been killed or injured?' "I had a sick feeling in my gut. I went outside to see what the situation was. I was fearing the very worst. The impact was so fierce I was so scared about what I might see. When I

Judge Simon James told him it was a miracle that no-one was seriously injured (Picture: UKNIP)

Minutes before, Bates had been removed from the bar by staff after he got into a number of altercations with other customers while drinking there.

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When arrested shortly after the collision, Bates told police he could not explain why he had driven at the crowd of people.”

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Detective Constable Chris Brett said: James Bates was seen to drive his car around the block in order to accelerate his car into the crowd of people standing outside the pub, showing this was a pre-meditated attack.

Considering the damage a car can cause, the people who were outside the pub at the time of the collision are fortunate their injuries were not worse.

Regardless of injury, to be targeted in such a frightening and unprovoked way can have wide-reaching detrimental effects on those involved.

I thank those who have assisted with and supported the investigation and subsequent prosecution.

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