A former property developer who caused £120,000 worth of damage when he ploughed a car into an Italian restaurant after hearing its owner might be seeing his ex, has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Christopher Brassington, was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he got behind the wheel of a friend’s car and drove into the glass front of Rinaldis in Durkar, Wakefield.
Leeds Crown Court heard in October that on January 7 last year Brassington, a banned driver, was drinking with a friend and former business partner. During the evening it was mentioned Brassington’s ex-girlfriend was believed to be having a relationship with the restaurant’s owner. When they left Brassington jumped into the driver’s seat of the vehicle and drove to the restaurant before revving the engine and smashing into the building.
Mathew Harding, prosecuting, said both men were screaming as the car shattered glass and scattered chairs and tables before it was stopped by a post supporting the ceiling.
Johnny Watson, representing Brassington, told the hearing in October that his client had not acted out of jealousy, but was having mental health problems, adding: “This is a bizarre entirely freakish incident which seems to have almost been taken from a Quentin Tarantino movie.”
The court heard Brassington had built up a million pound property portfolio in the 1990s but in 2007 had a breakdown. That led to the collapse of his business, financial hardship and debts which added to his mental difficulties. At the time of the incident in January he was having psychiatric treatment.
Brassington,39, of Hall Ing Lane, Huddersfield, admitted criminal damage, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving with excess alcohol. Sentence was deferred for six months by Judge Shaun Spencer QC to give him time to address his problems.
At the court yesterday Judge Neil Clark was told that Brassington had got psychiatric help, stopped drinking and stayed out of trouble. Judge Clark said that Judge Spencer had indicated before his retirement, he would not jail him immediately if that was done and he would honour that. He gave Brassington 12 months in prison suspended for two years with supervision and an 18 months driving disqualification.