AN ESTRANGED husband slammed his car into his wife's vehicle and forced her off the road, a court heard.

Roy Lias, 63, used his silver Audi to follow his wife’s car along Crichton Avenue and along Water Lane, in Clifton, York, before speeding up and overtaking her.

York Crown Court heard he “slammed his vehicle into the side of her car”, forcing it off the road.

As she phoned 999 in tears, he then doubled back and drove into the back of her car, causing it to shunt forwards. Lias then followed her as she drove to her destination, before driving away.

He was arrested two days after the attack, and gave no comment in interview, and charged three months later with dangerous driving and criminal damage.

Lias denied the charges, but the trial did not take place until June 2018, more than two years after the attack, and was found guilty by a jury.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Lias that had he been sentenced closer to the time of the offence, he would likely have been imprisoned immediately, and said “using a car as a weapon in this manner certainly deserves a prison sentence”.

However, he took into account that Lias, formerly of Field View, Clifton, is now living in shared accommodation and had not breached a restraining order made against him following the attack, which happened in December 2015.

Lias was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Stubbs QC told him: “It seems to me that after this length of time, it is just possible for me to suspend [the sentence].

“If this came to court and you were convicted within six or seven months, you would go to prison.

“You have come as close to going to prison straight away as any defendant can do.”

He was also ordered to undertake an electronically-monitored overnight curfew for 12 months, banned from driving for two and a half years, and must take an extended driving test before he can get behind the wheel again, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.

Lias was not ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,800.