Angry passenger keyed a car in disabled parking dispute

Crow court exterior

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Submitted

An angry passenger got out of her friend’s car and scratched another driver’s vehicle with a key after an argument over disabled parking in Exmouth. 

Rachael Drewe caused around £729 damage to the other car, which also had one wing mirror partially ripped off in the rumpus outside the McColl’s shop on Exeter Road. 

She and her friend Kirsty Bright were initially accused of a racially aggravated assault against the other driver, but the charge was dropped at Exeter Crown Court. 

Drewe, aged 36, of Baring Ct, Exeter, and Bright, aged 36, of Moormead, Budleigh, both denied the offence of battery and were found not guilty by Judge Timothy Rose. 

Drewe admitted criminal damage and was conditionally discharged for a year and ordered to pay £200 compensation. 

The judge told her: “You reacted to a situation that involved an argument and a confrontation quite deliberately in a way you should not have done and inflicted damage to the side of the motor vehicle.  

“That was completely and utterly unnecessary.” 

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Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said the incident happened outside the shop on August 11, 2020, where there was a verbal altercation between the driver of the other car and the two women, who were driver and passenger in the other car. 

He said: “There was a great deal of shouting. Drewe punched the wing mirror and then took a key and scratched it down the left side.” 

Felicity Payne, defending, said the more serious allegations of assault and racial abuse had always been denied by both women.  

She said: “My client made a silly and childish decision to scratch the car.” 

She said Drewe is struggling to cope on benefits and is the sole carer for her nine-year-old son.  

She is registered as disabled and the dispute was partially about her use of her disabled parking badge.