Man and baby in horror attack in takeaway queue

convicted - Mark Hardy - 04-04-11.JPG)
convicted - Mark Hardy - 04-04-11.JPG)
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‘Burger rage’ man jailed after smashing windows of car in front with a pick-axe handle at drive-through

A DAD with a baby in his car was injured when an impatient driver smashed a window with a pick-axe handle during a bout of ‘burger rage’ at a drive-through restaurant in Doncaster.

Ryan Phillips ended up with cuts to his face from flying glass after the incident at the McDonald’s takeaway in Shaw Lane, Wheatley.

His assailant, Mark Hardy, simply couldn’t be bothered to wait in a queue of vehicles, Doncaster Crown Court heard.

The attack by the 47-year-old, along with separate offences of dangerous driving during a police car chase over 13 miles, led to a three-year prison sentence.

Hardy, of Hawthorn Road, Thorne, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm to Mr Phillips, possessing an offensive weapon and criminal damage, and the dangerous driving on another date.

Prosecutor Mark Kendall said Mr Phillips had been shopping with his girlfriend and their baby when they decided to head to the McDonald’s Drive-Thru.

He saw a Suzuki Vitara off-roader drive very close to his Peugeot and felt it was getting too close while the engine was being revved.

Mr Phillips shouted that he had a baby in their car - and Hardy got out with a pick-axe handle and smashed the driver’s window before pushing the weapon through “like a snooker cue”, said Mr Kendall.

“Another witness in the queue heard the defendant shout, ‘I don’t give a damn about your baby’, and then order the driver behind him to ‘shift’ so he could drive off,” said Mr Kendall.

Hardy later abandoned the Suzuki and reported it stolen but forensic evidence found splinters of glass from the car window on his trousers and the handle.

The dangerous driving started when Hardy refused to stop his Mazda for a police patrol car in Mexborough and it was pursued all the way through High Melton, Sprotbrough, Bentley, Toll Bar and Askern in the early hours.

On two occasions it rammed pursuing police cars and drove on, despite having its tyres deflated by a police stopping device.

Mr Kendall said police were horrified when they finally stopped the car on a dirt track and realised Hardy had a woman and 10-year-old boy in the front seat, who were both very distressed.

Hardy also admitted being in breach of a non-molestation order because he had sent a number of letters to his estranged wife in contravention of a family court order.

Defence counsel Andrew Smith said Hardy was suffering from mental illness at the time because of the breakdown of his marriage.

“It is a significant feature which has contributed to this offending. He knows there is no excuse for taking out the pick-axe handle and injuring Mr Phillips. He is now back on medication and his mental health difficulties are resolved,” said Mr Smith.

Judge Peter Kelson, QC, imposing consecutive 18 month prison terms for the assault and the dangerous driving, told Hardy he had “showed a brutal disregard” for an innocent victim and the baby in his car.

He told him: “You were impatient, you simply took out a pick-axe handle and you put it into his car window. Three years is richly deserved for this outbreak of criminality.”