A football player has been found guilty of using 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 between the age of 14 and 19 after his side lost 5-0 in the local football match in South Wales.
Newport Crown Court heard the teenagers were deliberately “knocked down like skittles” but the driver claimed he was unaware of the collisions and could not hear the boys screams because his car stereo was playing too loud.
Father-of-one Taylor had been playing for amateur side Margam FC at the home of their rivals Cornelly Utd at Margam Park, Bridgend, where supporters traded insults with players as the home side cruised to a 5-0 victory.
Prosecutor Christopher Rees said Taylor squared up a group of around 15 to 20 teenagers following the game who had been waiting to confront a team-mate of his outside the away changing room.
Taylor told the group “no-one will get involved while I’m here. I’ll wrap a bat around your heads” and threatened to “eat” one of the boys.
He was heard saying: “You wanna go?” before getting in his grey BMW and revving its engine and accelerating 10 metres into the group.
Mr Rees said: “Taylor drove straight at the young boys, knocking them over like skittles at a bowling alley. It was a terrifying incident.
“He had lost his temper. He deliberately mowed down the group using his vehicle as a one-tonne weapon to plough into the boys.
“Taylor used his car as a weapon to drive at a group of young people, intending to cause them serious injury and, in fact, causing serious injury to 11 people.”
Mr Rees said some of the boys were thrown up into the air and said it was only by “sheer good fortune” that none suffered injuries worse than cuts and bruising.
One boy managed to jump onto the bonnet of the car and smash Taylor’s windscreen in an attempt to get him to stop.
The jury were shown mobile phone footage of Taylor getting out of his car following the collisions and assaulting friends of the teenagers who had been run over, before he returned to his vehicle and drove away.
Taylor told the court he had been “scared” after being confronted by the teenage boys outside the changing rooms, claiming they told him: “We’ll batter you. F*** off, fatty” and had surrounded his car before he could drive away.
The jury took five hours and 40 minutes to find Taylor guilty of dangerous driving unanimously and of 11 counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent by a majority verdict.
Judge Daniel Williams said he would adjourn sentencing for reports to be compiled on Taylor but warned: “I will be considering an extended sentence where the defendant is kept on licence for longer than usual for the protection of the public.”
Taylor, from the Sandfields area of Port Talbot, will be sentenced next month.