A teenager felt lucky to be alive after a Transit van mounted a pavement and drove straight at him.

Victim Harvey Williams was struck with such force that he was thrown to the floor and injured.

It was the second time that Ben Harper had driven at him – minutes earlier Mr Williams had been able to jump out of the way, Mold Crown Court was told today.

The 19-year-old victim had spoken to a former girlfriend of the defendant.

Harper made a telephone threat to run him down.

Harper, 19, of Cil Llidiart, Bylchau near Denbigh, pleaded guilty to driving a Ford Transit van dangerously in Abergele Road, Bodelwyddan, on May 28, and assaulting Harvey Williams, occasioning him actual bodily harm.

He escaped immediate custody when a youth custody sentence was suspended.

Judge Niclas Parry said that he had used his vehicle as a weapon.

“It was pre-meditated,” he said.

“You said you were going to do it and you did.”

The judge said that the defendant was persistent – he drove dangerous once and then did it again and caused injury.

Such behaviour could only attract a custodial sentence.

But he had acted out of character, he was only 19, he came from a good family and had been well brought up, and he worked hard in a hard industry.

He had pleaded guilty and mercifully the injuries were not serious.

Had they been, then the court’s hands would have been entirely tied.

Judge Parry said that he also took into account the defendant was a young man of good character with no previous convictions.

A ten month youth custody sentence was suspended for 12 months and he was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and must take an extended driving test.

The judge ordered him to pay £400 compensation.

Prosecuting barrister Joe Maxwell said that Mr Williams and the defendant were acquainted but not friends.

Mr Williams had been speaking to the defendant’s former partner, that night he was at Ty Fry at Bodelwyddan with a male friend and he had four pints of lager.

He received a call from the defendant who made threats to run him down.

An hour or so later he left the pub and was walking along Abergele Road, Bodelwyddan, to his friend’s home.

He noticed a distinctive Transit van with a black stripe and the defendant who was behind the wheel drove onto the pavement in front of him, causing him to leap out of the way.

Mr Williams avoided being hit by the van but it left him shocked and scared.

Harper drove back onto the road and then parked up.

Mr Williams just wanted to get to his friend’s house and they continued to walk along the pavement.

But before reaching the junction of Park Avenue the van returned and drove directly at him.

It mounted the pavement a second time, drove along it and hit Mr Williams with such force that he was thrown to the floor.

He felt pain in his leg and the right hand side of his body as the van sped off towards the A55.

The incident had been seen by independent witnesses who went to his aid.

He was helped to his feet by his friend and others but struggled to walk.

After speaking to the police he went to the nearby Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Thankfully, said Miss Maxwell, the injuries amounted to cuts to his right knee which was sprained and swollen.

He had abrasions to his back and his right hip was sore.

In a victim impact statement he told how he still had marks to his back and pain to his knee.

He felt “lucky to be alive” after what had happened.

Defending Matthew Curtis did not mitigate fully when the judge said that it was one of those cases where a court could take the view that a young, hard working young man from a good background had made a mistake and he could be given a chance.

Mr Curtis said that his client could provide some limited compensation but the complainant would no doubt be able to get more at another place.

Harper, he said, was a hard working young man with no previous convictions who had a supportive family.

Mr Curtis said he did not expect that the court would ever see him again.