Hitchin brothers jailed after high-speed chase through Codicote culminates in victim being run down

Jason Harperstott, of Bradleys Corner, Hitchin.

Jason Harperstott, of Bradleys Corner, Hitchin. - Credit: Archant

Two brothers from Hitchin who ran their victim down and left him seriously injured after a wild car chase through a quiet village swore at the judge as he jailed them both.

Paul Collins of Bradleys Corner, Hitchin.

Paul Collins of Bradleys Corner, Hitchin. - Credit: Archant

As Jason Harperstott, 27, and Paul Collins, 33, both from Bradleys Corner were led from the dock, their oaths and door slams echoed through Peterborough Crown Court.

Harperstott was sentenced to six years behind bars for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and dangerous driving, while Collins was given a 12-month sentence for dangerous driving and affray.

They had been due to stand trial, but were sentenced on Monday after belated guilty pleas.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson said Collins had been at the wheel of a Peugeot on August 4 last year, when he saw a van driven by a relative of his ex-partner.

Police at the scene of a stabbing in Codicote at The Bell Motel

Police at the scene of a stabbing in Codicote at The Bell Motel - Credit: Archant


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After Collins pursued the van through Codicote High Street, undertaking and overtaking other cars, the victim pulled up in the service area of The Bell Motel.

Collins parked on High Street and pursued the victim brandishing a lawn strimmer, closely followed by his brother and another man caught on CCTV.

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But film footage shown in court captured them abruptly turning tail and fleeing from the victim and a motel staff member, who had armed themselves with a metal pole and two rolling pins.

Defending Harperstott, Colin Aylott told the court: “These two men were plainly armed. They assaulted Mr Collins.

“That was what Mr Harperstott saw happening to Mr Collins before he – Harperstott – retreated to the vehicle.

“But we accept there had been a break in the violence. He used his vehicle as a weapon.”

Harperstott then drove the Peugeot at the victim on the pavement outside the motel, sending him flying over the bonnet and causing serious injury.

Mr Robertson said the victim suffered nightmares and had since been unable to work as a delivery driver.

In Harperstott’s defence Mr Aylott said his client had tried to calm his brother down during the car chase, and had called police while it was in progress.

In further mitigation, the court heard that Harperstott had ADHD and other mental health problems, while Collins had addressed his drug problem during a recent prison term.

But judge David Farrell told Collins: “You started all this. You tooled yourself up.

“It was an appalling piece of dangerous driving.”

Speaking to Harperstott, he added: “You caused very serious injuries.

“This was a deliberate act, the use of a car as a weapon.”

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