Delivery driver 'feared I might die' after jumping on the bonnet of his car as thief took off in the vehicle

A delivery driver was left with a fractured skull and serious head injuries when he tried to save his van from being stolen by a robber.

By Karon Kelly
Monday, 12th October 2020, 4:55 pm
Anthony Newall
Anthony Newall

Anthony Newall, 32, jumped behind the wheel of a Citroen Berlingo while the owner Graham Nicholson was out of the vehicle dropping off parcels in Newbiggen-by-the sea in Northumberland last December.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when delivery man Mr Nicholson realised his van was about to be taken, he jumped on top of the bonnet to try and save it.

But the court heard Newall, who had been in the area with a pal in a transit van looking for scrap, continued driving and the victim was flung from his vehicle and onto the road.

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Mr Nicholson was left with serious injuries and was taken to intensive care.

Ten months after his ordeal, Mr Nicholson, who read a victim statement to the court, said he is still suffering the effects of what happened to him.

He told the court: "I genuinely feared I might die."

Mr Nicholson said his treatment was put on hold due to the Covid pandemic and he still suffers headaches, blurred vision, pain and fatigue.

He has lost out financially as a result of being unable to drive due to his injuries and told the court he has been left with "physical and emotional scars" and added: "I will never forget what happened to me."

Newall, of Sunderland Street, Houghton, Sunderland, who has a long criminal record, admitted robbery and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Judge Robert Spragg sentenced him to five years and four months behind bars with a driving ban of seven years and eight months.

The judge said: "The injured party left his van to deliver parcels.

"Your van was seen to drive past. You then jumped out and he is seen to jump onto his van, fearing that it was going to be stolen.

"He very bravely jumped onto the bonnet of the van but you didn't stop, you continued driving."

Liam O'Brien, defending, said Newall is "genuinely sorry" for his behaviour and its consequences.

Mr O'Brien told the court: "The gravity of his conduct has not escaped him".

Mr O'Brien said Newall, who has mental health problems, had been in a cycle of committing offences and being punished for them.

But he added: "This time, he is so appalled by what has happened, what is is responsible for, he is motivated to address himself, to seek to improve himself and rehabilitate himself."

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