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Jury clears driver of deliberately hitting ex-partner's brother

By Ashleigh McDonald

An east Belfast man has been acquitted by a jury of deliberately driving at a another man and causing him grievous bodily injury.

Following a trial which commenced last week, it took a jury of five women and seven men several hours to reach a unanimous 'not guilty' verdict against Joseph Floyd (55).

Mr Floyd, from Ardnover Street, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving following an early morning incident outside his ex-partner's home on June 1, 2015.

During the trial, the jury heard Mr Floyd called at his former partner's home in Rosetta at around 2.30am. Her brother answered the door, told Mr Floyd to leave and followed him out on to the street while carrying an ornamental bat.

Giving evidence, the man said he saw Floyd drive to the top of the street then do a handbrake turn. He said: "I could hear the wheels screeching, he revved the engine quite loud, then he came flying at me.

"He came flying straight at me and straight through me. He put me about 10 to 15 feet in the air, I was as high as the lampposts, then I landed on my head."

The man suffered a head wound and broken right knee as a result of the incident. He told the jury it was his belief that Mr Floyd drove at him deliberately.

This version of events was rejected by Mr Floyd. He told the jury that after being cursed at by the other man, he turned and walked from the front door.

Mr Floyd said he got into his car and did a three-point turn. He claimed the other man was standing in the middle of the road. He told the jury: "I swerved out of the way. I heard a bang and thought my car had been hit by the truncheon. I thought he had thumped the car."

As well as being acquitted on a charge of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, Mr Floyd was also cleared of a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily injury by careless driving.

He was, however, found guilty of careless driving and will be sentenced for that today.

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