Runaway cart owner chased for damages

Pete Chapman and his damaged Passat.
Pete Chapman and his damaged Passat.
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A LEEDS driver is trying to trace a man whose runaway pony and trap badly damaged his car.

After falling into the road, the man made off on a second horse and cart pursuing the pony which had broken free of the trap.

Pete Chapman, a sales consultant, is facing a £625 bill for repairs to his VW Passat car and said he plans to take the pony and trap’s owner - who had refused to pay – to the Small Claims Court for compensation.

Mr Chapman, 41, said that police told him there was no action they could take under criminal law and the damage was a civil matter.

Mr Chapman from Leeds, was stopped at traffic light controlled road works on Meanwood Road, Leeds, when a pony and trap came towards him on the wrong side of the road and crashed into the offside of his Passat causing extensive damage.

“The man fell into the road.I got out to see if he was alright and exchange details. The horse had bolted down the road, But then he jumped onto another cart driven by a woman and chased after the horse,” said Mr Chapman

He called after them but the man swore and disappeared.

Soon after Mr Chapman texted a friend who recognised the description of a couple in the horse and cart. The friend gave Mr Chapman the name and address of the man – whom he believed was a registered bankrupt – and his wife.

Mr Chapman reported the incident at Stainbeck Police Station.

After obtaining a quotation for repairs he asked police to pass it to the horse owner asking him to settle bill or face civil action. The man apparently told police he had no money to pay for the damage, said Mr Chapman.

Mr Chapman visited the owner and repeated the option, but the man declined to pay. He claimed the police had advised Mr Chapman not to approach him and he replied he was under no obligation to follow such advise and would sue him for repairs.

“I work very hard and people like this are taking the mickey,” he added.

A police spokesman said: “Police have been notified of a collision between a vehicle and a horse and cart on Sunday June. 27 No one was injured.

“The owners of both vehicles have been spoken to. An accident report has been completed and both parties have exchanged details. Non-mechanical vehicles on a public highway do not require insurance.”

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