A motorist who ‘died’ four times and was left disabled for life after being run over three times in a row over a parking space has slammed the 14-month sentence given to his attacker.
Peter Cox was standing in the last available parking space on a busy shopping street to reserve it for his son.
But John Crowley, 44, then approached in his classic green Mercedes 350 and slowly edged towards Mr Cox, knocking him to the ground.
Mr Cox’s son Craig saw what was happening and smashed the windscreen of Crowley’s car in a bid to stop him.
As they brawled the car continued to move at slow speed with Crowley still behind the wheel – and Mr Cox was run over up to three times.
Crowley admitted dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving over the incident in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and was jailed for 14 months.
Mr Cox, from Bridgwater, Somerset, said the sentence was not long enough considering he had been left with life-changing injuries.
The father-of-one, who has three grandchildren, said: “I think it’s disgusting he got 14 months; I’m disabled for life.
“I died four times in hospital. It’s lucky I pulled through, my surgeon said it’s a miracle.”
“I haven’t got any stomach muscles where they removed my spleen and I can’t get in and out of bed, I’m still sleeping in a hospital bed.”
“I can’t do anything now, I can’t lift my grandson up, I can’t take him out.
“I just feel that justice hasn’t been done. He knocked me down deliberately and I was reversed over. I felt the car go back and forward over me three or four times.”
Peter’s partner Donna Allen added: “He lay in the hospital bed, expected to die, for weeks and weeks. He just didn’t move.
“We just didn’t know if he was going to survive. Our poor son as well, for Craig to have to see it happening.
“We didn’t know if he was going to wake up a vegetable. I was just sat there crying all the time.
“How could a human being die four times and have his whole body messed up, and for what?”
Bristol Crown Court previously heard that Crowley was not being held responsible for the severe injuries of Mr Cox as they happened as he was being attacked by his son and was therefore under duress.
The incident happened on November 30 last year when Mr Cox was standing outside the legal high store “Buzzin'” owned by his son.
He was left with two collapsed lungs and broken ribs, meaning surgeons had to remove his spleen and rebuild his shoulder.
Mr Cox spent four months in hospital and now his bones are producing too much calcium, which causes them to thicken and means he faces further surgery.
Driver Crowley – who lost part of his nose during the fracas with Mr Cox’s son -and required an operation to take the skin from his neck to cover the wound.
Rebecca Bradbury, defending, said Crowley, of Flintshire, North Wales, was “shocked and remorseful”.
Judge Martin Picton said: “The defendant failed to exercise proper and careful use of the brake pedal so as to ensure he retained control of his vehicle.
“By reason of his failure the car struck Mr Cox causing him to fall to the ground but not such as to cause any injury.
“So far as count two is concerned that arose directly from the reaction of Mr Cox’s son who, angered by what he saw, attacked the defendant.
“Mr Cox sustained hugely serious and life changing injuries as a result of this event.
“It is understandable that he and his family will regard all of those injuries as being the responsibility of this defendant but the sentence I have to impose cannot be predicted on that basis.”
Crowley was also banned from driving for three years.
The court heard that possible charges against Craig Cox were not pursued because he was deemed to be acting in defence of his father.