Dash cam footage exonerates Walkern 4x4 driver accused of trying to hit jogger near Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 11:31 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 13 October 2017

Vic Hobbs, 72, with his red Ssangyong Rexton 4x4. Picture: Jan Hobbs

Vic Hobbs, 72, with his red Ssangyong Rexton 4x4. Picture: Jan Hobbs

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Dash cam footage has fully exonerated a 4x4 driver who was accused of trying to run over a jogger on a country road near Stevenage.

Vic Hobbs says he owns the only red 4x4 in Walkern, and was regularly pointed at and abused after a police appeal alleged that someone driving such a vehicle had three times tried to hit a man jogging along the B1037 Stevenage Road.

But dash cam footage from Vic’s car showed he had in fact stopped to avoid hitting the jogger, who slapped and broke his nearside wing mirror as he ran past.

The jogger withdrew his statement and offered to compensate Vic for the damage after police informed him of the dash cam footage. Officers considered bringing charges against him for perverting the course of justice and wasting police time, but Vic has agreed to let the matter drop.

Speaking to the Comet, the 72-year-old – who had been accused of dangerous driving and actual bodily harm – said he was pleased to accept his money back for the broken wing mirror and move on.

“The dash cam footage proved it all,” he said.

“I just can’t understand why this guy’s made all that up. People have been pointing at me and my car when I’ve driven through the village, because it’s the only red 4x4.”

The incident happened at about 3pm on Saturday, August 5, when Vic was driving home to Walkern with his wife Jan in the passenger’s seat of their Ssangyong Rexton.

“Never in my right mind would I jog on that narrow road,” said Vic, a former professional driver.

“It’s too dangerous. There’s just about room for two cars to pass each other.”

Vic came around a blind bend to see the jogger coming towards him on his left and a white van approaching in the same direction on his right.

He said: “I had to avoid the jogger, so I performed an emergency stop – but he kept on running, and he whacked my mirror with his hand before carrying on.”

Vic turned the car around and drove after the jogger to try to get an explanation. Following a brief confrontation he decided to leave it at that and went home.

Vic contacted police after they issued a public appeal for information four days later, after the jogger had alleged repeated attempts to run him over by a man supposedly in his 60s and driving a red 4x4.

When Vic was interviewed under caution at Buntingford Police Station, he gave officers a copy of the dash cam footage from his car. Officers then again interviewed the jogger.

The 72-year-old said the jogger immediately offered to pay for the wing mirror when police said there was dash cam footage – not even asking to see it.

Vic – who has this week received back the £290 cost of repairing the mirror – said in summary: “It was a load of absolute rubbish. But it’s done now.”

A police spokeswoman told the Comet: “Officers have made contact with the driver and have viewed dash cam footage of the alleged incident. It has been established that no offences had been committed by the motorist and therefore no further action will be taken.”

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