A father-of-two accused of ramming a car containing his 14-year-old daughter and estranged wife has been cleared by a jury of dangerous driving after insisting he believed his daughter was being kidnapped.
Bare-chested Darren Turfrey, 40, was accused of ramming his Land Rover Discovery into his wife’s Renault Clio four times between Skipsea and Beeford as he gave chase to see where his daughter was going.
He told police it was perfectly lawful as he believed a crime was being committed and was angry and scared because his daughter had a stalker and he heard her vanish from his front door at 11pm.
He said he had not been told his daughter was going to her mother’s house and did not recognise her car as they were not speaking because of the split.
A jury took less than an hour to find Mr Turfrey, of Hornsea Road, Skipsea, not guilty of dangerous driving on September 14, after a four-day trial at Hull Crown Court (March 8-11).
Mr Turfrey denied claims there were four collisions, one where his estranged wife’s partner braked suddenly and a second where he was struck outside the Tiger Inn in Beeford. He said two other dents in his car were caused by a bollard and a pheasant.
Taking the witness stand, Mr Turfrey told the jury his teenage daughter had a telephone stalker and when he heard her vanish around 11pm he feared she was going to meet the stranger and could be kidnapped.“ I heard the gate go,” Mr Turfrey told the jury. “I could see a car headlight down the road. That is why I gave chase. It was only luck I went down the same road as they did.
“I grabbed my keys and went. I did not have my phone on me. The car disappeared from view. I drove towards the Bridlington Road at Beeford. I put on full beam. I was trying to overtake them I wanted to try and stop them to see who they were and what is happening .”
He said the car in front slammed on and he clipped the car getting out only for it to drive off again before he saw who was driving. He said: “All I can remember was seeing my daughter in the back window on the back seat. She was trying to get out. I just saw red. She looked distressed. She looked to be sat up not with her seat belt on and crouching over.
“I tried to overtake them basically. My intention was to try and stop the car to see who it was in it. He was starting and stopping. I was trying to get past him. We both were putting people at risk.
“I would not have rammed the car. My daughter was in it.
“We are going to court next week for a divorce and my wife is trying to cause as much trouble as possible.
“I walked into it. I called the police that night. I thought my daughter has been kidnapped. I just panicked as I hear the gate go. I realised ow it was my wife and her boyfriend.”