Road rage nightmare ends with suspended sentence

A CLARENCE Valley man has escaped jail over a harrowing and prolonged road rage incident on Grafton streets.

Jake Ogilve, 27, appeared in Grafton Local Court on Monday faced with several charges stemming from three separate incidents.

The most serious of those took place about noon on December 5.

The male victim was driving a Toyota four-wheel drive through Grafton, with his partner and four-month- old daughter in the car, when a gold Hyundai Accent driven by Ogilve followed him closely on Villiers St.

According to police facts, hostilities developed between the two parties, and at some point Ogilve pulled in front of the victim's car and stopped.

When the victim stopped behind him, three passengers in Ogilve's car got out and walked towards the victim.

In fear he began to drive off, colliding with the rear offside door of the Hyundai Accent and causing severe damage in the process.

The accused again followed the victim's car and at Arthur St forced the Toyota off the road, before the two vehicles collided.

When the victim tried to U-turn to get away, Ogilve's passengers approached the car and punched the victim through the window, causing his nose to bleed.

Ogilve then broke off the Toyota's driver-side mirror and cracked the front windscreen with his hand.

Eventually, the victim was able to drive away and sought medical attention for pain to his nose, eye socket, temple and jaw.

Ogilve was later charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, damage or destroy property and driving in a menacing manner.

In court, defence solicitor Joe Fahey explained when Ogilve'sdoor was smashed it was the "end of any asset value he had" and he reacted in anger.

Mr Fahey said his client was at a crossroads in his life, with his charges acting as a "huge wake-up call".

He also noted the accused had completed eight weeks of a MERIT program and was looking for work.

But Magistrate K Stafford said it was particularly concerning there was a baby present during the violence.

"You would be going to jail but for good signs of rehabilitation," she said.

Ogilve was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He was also fined and sentenced to 200 hours of community service in relation to driving charges and dishonestly obtaining advantage by deception.

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