Footballer jailed for mowing down young fans
A football player has been given an extended 10-year prison sentence after he used his car as a "weapon" to mow down 11 young rival supporters after they taunted him by calling him "fatty".
Lee Taylor, 36, drove his BMW into a group of young boys aged 14 to 19 after his side lost 5-0 in a local football match in South Wales.
On Friday, a court was told that Taylor posed a "high risk" of harm to the public and would serve at least seven years of his sentence in custody after hearing he had a string of violent offences to his name.
Supporters had traded insults with players as the home side cruised to the 5-0 victory, and, after the game, a group of young home fans waited outside the away dressing room for a fight between a young player from each team.
Judge Daniel Williams said Taylor's attempts to set ground rules for the fight "between two children" had resulted in "incredulity and derision" from the boys, who began insulting him and calling him "fatty".
Judge Williams said: "The spat between two boys could have been defused by any adult with an ounce of common sense. But you don't have that.
"Your fragile pride could not take the insults. You were angry and decided to exact revenge on those who dared to dent your fragile ego.
"You made threats of violence and then used your car as a weapon to inflict violence on the boys because a few of them had disrespected you."
Newport Crown Court heard that Taylor said "You don't want to mess with me" before getting into his grey BMW, revving the engine, and then accelerating into the group of boys, injuring 11 of them before attempting to chase another two boys on to the football pitch.
One 17-year-old boy jumped on top of the car and punched Taylor's windscreen in an attempt to get him to stop, which led to Taylor jumping out of his vehicle and attacking more of the group before driving off.
Judge Williams said it was "just good fortune" that none of the victims were seriously injured or killed.
Taylor had denied deliberately trying to injure the teenagers, claiming he was trying to escape an attack by the group, and was unaware of the collisions and could not hear the boys' screams because his car stereo was too loud.
But the jury members took five hours and 40 minutes to unanimously find Taylor guilty of dangerous driving, and of 11 counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent by a majority verdict.
Judge Williams said Taylor posed a "high risk of harm to others", resulting in him being given an extended 10-year custodial sentence.
He will serve at least seven years in prison before a parole board will decide whether he should be released.
Taylor, from the Sandfields area of Port Talbot, was also disqualified from driving for 10 years and told he would be deprived of his BMW.
Detective Constable Neville Evans, from South Wales Police, said: "It is very fortunate that no lives were lost in this incident and we are pleased that Taylor has now been brought to justice.
"This was an incident which affected many members of the local community in North Cornelly.
"I would like to praise those victims and witnesses who administered first aid at the scene, and thank them, their families and other members of the community who assisted South Wales Police with our investigation and the subsequent trial."