Man jailed after Axminster Beer Festival attacks

PUBLISHED: 15:01 11 September 2018

Darren Wilcox. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Darren Wilcox. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Drunken reveller punched two people and then knocked down another with his car

An Axminster Beer Festival drinker has been jailed after he attacked two strangers and ran over a man who tried to stop him driving with excess alcohol.

Darren Wilcox lost his temper because he thought a skateboarder had damaged his parked car.

He confronted a group of people who were leaving the festival and punched two of them on the face without warning, breaking a woman’s eye socket and a man’s jaw.

He then mowed down a festival goer who tried to stop him driving off, throwing him onto the bonnet of his car and leaving him on the ground as he drove off.

Wilcox had just been released from a long jail sentence for a robbery in Wales at the time of the attack in June 2015 and was using the false name of Darren Roberts.

He failed to turn up for his police interview and went on the run until he was arrested in February this year after police issued a public appeal to trace him.

Wilcox, 38, of Cardiff, admitted three offences of assault causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for ten months by Recorder Richard Shepherd at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “This was late at night in public and people were having a good time. You were very drunk. All that makes matters worse.”

Judith Constable, prosecuting, said the assaults happened at around 2am as customers were leaving the festival on June 27, 2015.

The first victim Lola Coombes heard someone shouting about their car being damaged by a skateboarder and moments later was hit in the face without warning. The blow broke an eye socket, split her lip and nostril, and bent her nose. She had to attend her grandfather’s funeral the next week with a black eye and had to take time of her job as a waitress.

Wilcox hit the next victim without warning with such force he was thrown into a bush. His jaw was broken in two places.

The final victim William Forster saw Wilcox staggering to his car and tried to persuade him not to drive because he was drunk. He drove away regardless, throwing Mr Forster onto the bonnet and off the car and causing severe bruising to his legs.

Julia Cox, defending, said Wilcox has turned his life around through hard work since 2015, settled down with a partner and had a young son.

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