A BOLTON showman has been cleared of attempting to injure a group of men who had been involved in a pub row with his son.
Following a seven-day trial, a jury at Bolton Crown Court took just one hour and 22 minutes to find Henry Hill not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and five counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent — but convicted him of dangerous driving.
The prosecution had alleged that Hill, aged 51, of Hills Showman Park, Morris Street, Bolton, had deliberately driven at a group of men in Radcliffe Road, Darcy Lever, in the early hours of May 7 last year, mounting the pavement and scattering the men “like skittles.”
The jury was told that one of the men, Lee Dootson, was hit by the 4x4 pick-up truck, knocked unconscious and needed surgery to insert a metal plate in his ankle.
Peter Barr, prosecuting, claimed Hill had driven to the Farmers Arms pub after receiving a call saying the showman’s 28- year-old son, Kurt Hill, had been involved in a fight with a group of men.
After the incident the pick-up truck drove off and police ar rested Kurt, who owned the vehicle, the next day.
But a week later Hill told police that he had been driving his son’s vehicle that night.
He admitted in court that, after reaching the Farmers Arms and being unable to find his son, he had driven back along Radcliffe Road to where the group of men he assumed had been involved in the fight were.
But breaking down in tears he told the jury that as he pulled alongside the group they attacked the Toyota Hilux, surrounding it, kicking the door and standing on the running boards.
“They were just screaming and shouting like they wanted to kill me. I was scared to death,” said Hill, whose family business runs fairground rides throughout the North West.
In a bid to get away he told the court he drove forward, “clipping” three of the men.
Recorder Craig Osborne granted Hill bail. He will be sentenced on October 1.