AN ESTRANGED boyfriend injured his girlfriend when he drove his car at another vehicle, a court heard.

James Stephen Bell, 29, threatened to damage a car belonging to her mother’s partner and she had tried to stop him, said Nicholas Barker, prosecuting.

Bell told her: “See what happens when I get into my car.” He then got into his VW Golf and drove towards her and the partner’s car.

A neighbour heard the car revving as he reached 10mph and knocked her off her feet. She got back up and as Bell started to drive off tried to get into his car. She was pulled out by her relatives and he drove off.

Mr Barker said the prosecution could not say whether Bell was intending to hit the woman or the partner’s car but: “Her presence was very obvious to the defendant.”

Bell, of Orchard Drive, Hambleton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving on the day he was due to stand trial.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, told him: “Whether you were aiming your car at his car or intending to frighten her or not, the fact of it is that it was an incredibly dangerous thing to do, and you caused injury.”

He gave Bell a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition Bell does 200 hours’ unpaid work and 20 days’ rehabilitative activities aimed at teaching him how to conduct relationships.

Bell was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended driving test.

For him, Mark Partridge told York Crown Court: “He behaved petulantly on this evening.”

Bell was a young man who couldn’t control his temper and needed to learn how to have successful relationships. He accepted that this relationship was over. He had the offer of a job as a mechanic.

Mr Barker said the woman suffered grazing and bruises.

Bell had been violent the night before the incident at the home he had been sharing with his now former girlfriend and had smashed an internal door with his fist.

He had been away from the house for a couple of hours and when he returned he had been drinking.

The woman had refused to let him into the house.