A GRAN was accused of causing more than £1,000 worth of damage to an Audi with a DIY speed bump.
Andrea Wilkinson had installed the homemade obstruction – cobbled together out of rocks – to stop traffic whizzing past her country cottage.
But she was charged with criminal damage and hauled before a judge when Amy Leadbeater said she accidentally drove through the stones, causing £1,200 worth of damage to her Audi AI Sportback.
Wilkinson, 51, created the hump using rocks from a dry stone wall opposite her home in the village of Edgworth, near Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Campaigners in the area had previously called for a 20mph limit and speed bumps on a stretch of Bury Road – but when their pleas to council highways officers fell on deaf ears, Wilkinson posted a message on a local Facebook group saying she would make a hump of her own instead.
But two days later law firm worker Ms Leadbeater, 25, claimed she ran over the coping stones.
Burnley Magistrates Court heard how she said the collision with the stones had caused her to stop at the side of the road.
Ms Leadbeater initially paid £44.96 to have the Audi realigned – but then said she paid a further £1,200 because turbo charger had been wrecked in the prang.
It is thought another driver also ran over the hump but drove away.
Wilkinson initially pleaded guilty to criminal damage, but then changed her plea after Ms Leadbeater was accused of exaggerating the extent of the damage.
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A local farmer also said he witnessed the incident and insisted the 25-year-old had not run over the stones.
It was accepted Wilkinson had created the illicit road hump, she was cleared of damaging Miss Leadbeater's vehicle.
It was disputed whether the stones could have caused the damage to the turbo charger.
She did not give evidence at the trial but an earlier hearing said: ''I'm sorry for what had happened – I had a lot to drink that night but I have tried to resolve the issue.”
The incident occurred on February 16 last year after Wilkinson grew increasingly frustrated with traffic issues following a series of road accidents in the neighbourhood.
Miss Leadbeater told the hearing: ''I was driving back around 10pm. 'My headlights lit the stones up and I tried to take evasive action but I went over it. I heard a big bang, and my steering wheel was jolted out of my hand.
''I was going around 25mph at the time and was negotiating around bends. I stopped and put my hazards on as I knew I needed to move what was in the road. The next car was coming down the road around two minutes later.
''We waved our arms to prevent another collision from happening and the other car stopped. The stones were scattered in the road and I realised someone had placed them there intentionally.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
''I moved them out of the road to prevent any other instances occurring. They were so heavy, me and my sister struggled to move them. There are three cottages nearby and the defendant and her partner and people with her were shouting abusive language from their window.
''We were going to leave but then everyone came out of the house and there was a discussion for about 20-30 minutes. Most people were completely intoxicated.
"Andrea was quite aggressive. She was apologising and then being aggressive again. At one point she admitted putting the rocks there"
Vehicle engineer Adam Hinchcliff who was called as an expert witness said: ''I was asked if a turbo could be damaged from driving over stones on the road.
"The car required nothing more than a steering wheel adjustment but this would not damage a turbo unit. If anything I would expect the exhaust to be damaged. The stones could not have made contact with the turbo.''
In finding Wilkinson not guilty JP Stephen Riley said: “The defendant did not give evidence but she has agreed she placed the stones in the road.
“We found Amy gave clear, forthright and factual evidence, Katie likewise.
“But we found Mr Paton gave clear, resolute evidence and the expert witness also gave a good account of his knowledge.
“We cannot be sure Miss Leadbeater drove over the stones at this time.''
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