Callous driver caged for car assault

Aslam struck his victim with a car in Tweed Street in Grangemouth's Old Town
Aslam struck his victim with a car in Tweed Street in Grangemouth's Old Town

A mindless motorist who used his car like a weapon to mow down a pedestrian has been jailed for almost six years.

Akib Aslam (22) deliberately drove at and struck Steven Ballantyne before swerving violently to throw him off the bonnet. The victim was so badly hurt, he was unable to walk for four months.

Aslam, of Stenhousemuir, added insult to injury by stating Mr Ballantyne was not as badly hurt in the incident as he was leading people to believe.

Appearing at the High Court in Glasgow today, Aslam had previously pled guilty to assaulting Mr Ballantyne to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment in Tweed Street in Grangemouth’s Old Town in October 2014.

The crime took place as Mr Ballantyne and a friend walked home from a night out.

Prosecutor Iain McSporran said the victim “did nothing to provoke any violence against him”, adding Aslam and others had been driving around in his Ford Fiesta when one of the group shone a laser pen at Mr Ballantyne and his friend.

Police stepped in and ordered Aslam’s group to move on – but they returned and a passenger started shining the pen again.

Mr Ballantyne and his friend walked on. However, Aslam’s car was heard speeding up while being on the wrong side of the road.

Mr McSporran told the court: “Steven described Aslam as ‘driving like an idiot, making his tyres squeal and pulling the handbrake up’ to turn the vehicle to follow them.”

The pair were so concerned for their safety, they called their dads.

But, Aslam then headed towards Mr Ballantyne who was still on the road.

The prosecutor continued: “He drove his car deliberately at Steven, who was unable to avoid the collision. This forced him onto the bonnet of the car. Had the vehicle stopped then, the likelihood of any injury being caused would have been minimal.

“Instead, Aslam accelerated while Steven was trying to find something to hold onto. He feared Aslam was going to drive into a parked vehicle but he started weaving the car from side to side causing Steven to be thrown from the bonnet to the side.”

The court heard the victim ended up “landing badly” on the road.

Mr McSporran said: “Whatever prompted Aslam and his friends to follow and harass Steven and his friend cannot begin to explain why he elected to use his vehicle as a weapon.”

Mr Ballantyne was rushed to hospital suffering from a major fracture to his left ankle. He also had severe ligament damage.

He was housebound after surgery and was unable to walk for three to four months.

Lorenzo Alonzi, defending, said Aslam was “an immature man” who had committed a “gross act of stupidity”.

The court heard Aslam told social workers, who were compiling a pre-sentencing report, Mr Ballantyne had jumped onto his bonnet before he slammed on his brakes.

However, sentencing Aslam to five years and eight months in prison, Lord Boyd told him that was “an obvious lie”.

The judge added: “I note you consider Mr Ballantyne has been deliberately exaggerating the extent of his injuries. That comment merely underlines your callous disregard of the consequences of your actions.”

Lord Boyd said what happened had “changed the course” of the victim and his family’s lives.