Raging danger driver threatened to 'shoot' and 'stab up' rival before smashing vehicles outside South Shields house

An angry driver who rammed a gate and two vehicles outside the home of a rival after sending threats by phone has been put behind bars.
Darren Millen.Darren Millen.
Darren Millen.

Darren Millen had warned his victim "I'm going to come and punch your head in" and "I'm going to stab you up, I will shoot you" before he drove to his family home in September 2019.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 46-year-old's intended target was not at the house but members of the man's family were there.

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The court heard Millen was "volatile and aggressive" outside the house, in South Shields, and then got back into his car.

Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court: "He drove ten meters down the street, took off his front and rear registration plates.

"The defendant reversed his vehicle into the gates of the house.

"The vehicle appeared to get stuck on the gatepost but when it was dislodged he turned the vehicle around and drove into a parked Citroen on the driveway with such force the vehicle jerked forward and hit the garage door.

"He did this again, causing damage to a motorbike.

"The defendant then drove away."

The court heard the Citroen vehicle was written off.

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Millen's car was next spotted on the John Reid Road, where he sparked a police chase that officers had to abandon for the safety of the public.

Miss Towers said the next time the vehicle was spotted was on Green Lane, in a "large plume of smoke", after it had crashed into another car, causing significant damage to both.

Millen, of Winskill Road, South Shields, admitted sending a malicious communication, dangerous driving and causing criminal damage.

Assistant Judge Advocate General Edward Legard sentenced him to eight months behind bars with a 16 month road ban and extended test requirement.

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The judge said: "There was clearly a high risk to other persons."

The judge told Millen: "You accept losing your temper, you accept removing your registration plates and you accept deliberately driving at the property, causing the damage that has been detailed."

Fiona Lamb, defending, said Millen has stayed out of trouble since he committed the offences and provided a reference to his ordinarily positive character.

The court heard Millen has a "significant number" of children and is unemployed but has an HGV and forklift licence.

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