Man jailed for running down his wife

Christine CunninghamA man who deliberately tried to run over his stepson ended up mowing down his wife when she got in the way of his jeep, leaving her with serious injuries including a fractured spine and collapsed lung, a court heard.Christine Cunningham

A man who tried to run over his stepson ended up mowing down his wife when she got in the way of his vehicle, leaving her seriously injured, a court was told yesterday.

Ian Pryke, 56, repeatedly drove his Jeep Cherokee at Stefan Crisp, at one point knocking him into a pile of nettles, after seeing him in Wymers Lane, South Walsham.

Norwich Crown Court was told he tried four times to knock down

29-year-old Mr Crisp, but Pryke's wife Rachel got in the way and he ended up hitting her.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said Mrs Pryke suffered injuries including broken bones in her back, broken ribs, a fractured thigh bone and collapsed lungs.

The court heard that she had since made a good recovery, was standing by her husband and did not want to see him prosecuted. When arrested, Pryke also told officers he did not want to hurt his wife because he loved her.

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The former mental health nurse, of Wymers Lane, South Walsham, appeared in court in a wheelchair. He admitted dangerous driving, causing grievous bodily harm to his wife and trying to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Crisp on August 30, 2008.

The court was told that, at the time, Pryke had been suffering from acute stress reaction.

Jailing him for 21 months and banning him from driving for 12 months, recorder Christopher Makey said he accepted there had been difficulties with the stepson; but on this occasion he had done nothing to provoke Pryke and had tried to keep out of his way that day. He had taken a detour while he was out walking with his partner and baby.

The recorder told Pryke: "These are very serious charges. On four separate occasions you drove at Mr Crisp. The one person you did injure was your wife, who sustained a number of extremely serious injuries from which she has made a reasonable recovery, but these injuries included a spinal fracture, which gives an indication of the velocity of the vehicle at the time it hit Mrs Pryke."

He accepted Pryke was suffering from an acute stress reaction at the time and had a number of other health problems. "Whatever the sentence, it will be dwarfed by the knowledge that you have caused the injuries that you have to Mrs Pryke despite the fact she has stood by you and she has made it clear she fully supports you now and in the future," the recorder added.

Simon Gladwell, for Pryke, described it as a tragic case. Pryke had worked for 30 years as a mental health nurse and for many years worked at the Norvic Clinic at Thorpe St Andrew, until he was attacked by a patient and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

He had then left the job and worked as a community psychiatric nurse.

"He is a man with an impeccable reputation, and these events were completely out of character," added Mr Gladwell.

He said Pryke's wife had made it clear she did not want to see him prosecuted and wanted to rebuild her life with him. The stepson, whom Pryke had not seen for two years before the attack, had moved now to Ireland.