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Suspended sentence for woman who ‘used a car as a weapon’ to reverse into another vehicle

Defence said the defendant had reversed into the vehicle, which she believed belonged to her husband, in order to 'stop him following her'

Craigavon Court

A woman who “used a car as a weapon” and deliberately reversed into another vehicle has been sentenced to two years in prison suspended for three years.

The 40-year-old’s barrister told court the defendant had reversed into the vehicle, which she believed belonged to her husband, in order to “stop him following her”.

Tang Xiu Fang, of Seagoe Mews in Portadown, appeared for sentencing on criminal damage, dangerous driving, using a vehicle in a dangerous condition, failing to report an accident, failing to remain at an accident scene and failing to stop at an accident at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecution outlined that on January 15, of this year, police received a report from a number of residents regarding damaged caused to an Audi A4 in the Carnreagh area of Craigavon.

Witnesses claimed that an Audi Q7 had reversed three times into the front of the damaged vehicle, before doing a lap of the estate and colliding with the driver side of the same vehicle.

Officers were approached by a male who stated that his wife, the defendant, had been the driver of the offending vehicle and had left the area.

Fang later returned with the key and police located her vehicle in a nearby car park.

The defendant was arrested and taken to Banbridge Custody Suite. During interview she stated that she thought that someone had been pursuing her.

She had an argument with her husband and had jumped into her car before colliding with the other vehicle.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes commented how Fang had told probation she had reversed into the Audi A4 with the intention of causing “significant damage” as she believed it belonged to her husband.

Defence barrister Sean Patterson alleged the defendant was in “blind panic” with her suffering “physical and mental stress” from an abusive relationship.

He said that Fang had gone to the area to see a rental property after leaving her husband. When he arrived at the property she believed that he had been tracking her.

Mr Patterson explained that the defendant had reversed into the vehicle, which she believed belonged to her husband, in order to “stop him following her”.

Deputy District Judge Holmes commented: “The phrase is that she repeatedly reversed into the vehicle with the intention to cause significant damage.

“It is a horrific case, which on the facts should not be before this court.”

Mr Patterson stated: “But in context, this is a lady who has never been before the court before. She was brought to the end of her tether by the domestic violence of the previous months.”

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes told the defendant: “You deliberately used a car as a weapon. I did not see myself saying that in this situation, in this court.

“I am going to impose the maximum sentence I can in this court. I am not without sympathy but there is no excuse for using a car as a weapon, especially when you get the wrong person.”

Fang was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for three years and was ordered to pay a fine of £700, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

The defendant was also disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months.

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