Driver deliberately ran over North Wales man he had threatened to kill months before

A motorist who intentionally ran over a man at a motorway service station has been jailed. The motorist’s victim, a man in his 40s who had travelled to Leicester from North Wales to attend a Christian convention, was struck at an M1 southbound station at Leicester Forest East shortly before 11.30pm on June 18 last year.

He was found by paramedics with serious leg injuries and taken to hospital and on arrival, it was found he had suffered an open fracture to his right tibia and fibula. The van driver, 30-year-old Marcus Knowles, had also travelled to Leicester from Blackpool. The victim said Knowles had driven the van at him before then driving off.

He also told police that in February 2021, messages were sent by Knowles in a WhatsApp group in which he had threatened to kill him. The day after the incident, police found Knowles’ van in Smithy Lane, Hinckley. Further enquiries were undertaken, with officers from Leicestershire driving to Blackpool to arrest him – finding him hiding in a caravan under a bed. On 13 December, Knowles – of St Walburgas Road, Blackpool – pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

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Today (Monday 28 March) at Leicester Crown Court, he was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. He was also given a four-year extended licence and banned from driving for eight years and seven months. Knowles is also subject to a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Detective Constable Tom White, the investigating officer, said: “As a result of the collision, the bones in the victim’s leg were shattered and he now has nails and screws in them. The collision has had a significant impact on his life and I hope he is able to make a full recovery.

“It was clear that Knowles had been planning to cause serious injury to the victim for some time and that this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. He knew what he wanted to do. He then tried to evade officers but was soon found. I am pleased he has been brought to justice and is now serving a significant custodial sentence.”

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