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Furious driver, 29, who threatened to ‘hunt down’ and ‘kill’ community volunteers after they caught him speeding in his Mercedes avoids jail

  • Ross Watts was captured on camera by volunteers speeding in his Mercedes
  • The 29-year-old turned round and launched a foul-mouthed tirade at locals
  • Warned one he would find him home and kill him if he received speeding ticket  

A driver flew into a blind rage and threatened to 'hunt down and kill' the volunteers who caught him speeding.

Ross Watts was captured on camera in his grey Mercedes as it passed community volunteers David Blackiston and Charlie Bartlett.

He was travelling at 36mph on a 30mph road in the Essex village of Wix, Colchester Magistrates' Court heard.

But the 29-year-old turned his car around and launched a foul-mouthed tirade telling former police officer Mr Blackiston, MBE, how he would find and 'kill him' if he received a speeding ticket. 

Ross Watts was captured on camera in his grey Mercedes as it passed community volunteers David Blackiston (left) and Charlie Bartlett (right)

Ross Watts was captured on camera in his grey Mercedes as it passed community volunteers David Blackiston (left) and Charlie Bartlett (right)

A second confrontation occurred later in the same month, when Watts stopped his car in Dovercourt and began 'angrily shouting and gesticulating' at the volunteers.

Prosecutor Ashley Petchey told the court: 'He was said to have an angry demeanour and was told he was being recorded.

'He said, “don't worry, I am recording you too pathetic little man, I know where you live, I will hunt you down and sort you both out.”'

Watts returned later that evening and opened his boot prompting both men to flee because they feared for their safety.

Mr Petchey added: '[Watts] said, “You cowards, I'll hunt you down.” This left the victim feeling unsafe in his own home and he contacted the police.'

Afterwards Mr Blackiston, 72, revealed how the confrontations in March had knocked his confidence.

The pensioner, who served with the police for 40 years and was awarded an MBE for his work, set up the Harwich and District Community Speed Watch Partnership with the hope of cracking down on speeding drivers.

He said: 'When [Watts] first threatened to kill me and my family and hunt us down I felt immediate fear.

'I was terrified he would be able to find me through social media and carry out his threats.

'In the second incident when he was opening his boot, we don't know what's in there. I was afraid he was going to hit me with a weapon.

'We stopped for nine days due to the fear of his behaviour.' 

Watts, from Great Oakley in Essex, has eight previous convictions for 11 offences. The court heard he suffers with anger issues and 'never intended to carry out his threats.'

Mr Blackiston, 72, (left) revealed how the confrontations in March had knocked his confidence

Mr Blackiston, 72, (left) revealed how the confrontations in March had knocked his confidence

He admitted three counts of using threatening behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Selena Dines, mitigating, said: 'He is quite a personable and hard-working guy, he said he would like to go and see his GP and get some cognitive behaviour therapy.'

Chairman of the bench Mark Page told Watts: 'We have two gentlemen here who are public spirited, trying to reduce accidents and encourage road safety in the area.

'From hearing the victim impact statement they are in fear of doing it and may no longer do it, which would be an awful shame.

'These gentlemen were doing a job for the community and for them to be put in such fear is not on.'

Watts must complete 120 hours of unpaid work and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay a total of £370 in fines, court costs and compensation to the victims. 

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