Man jailed after he drove car into door staff at Bournemouth nightclub

A man has been jailed for dangerous driving after his car mounted the pavement and ploughed into door staff at a Bournemouth nightclub.

Shailem Dodson, 20 and of Gunville Down Road in Blandford, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to dangerous driving, drink driving and assault by beating. He was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday 20 December 2018 to 16 months in prison. He was also handed a three-year driving ban extended for eight months to allow for his prison sentence.

Following an earlier trial, a jury found him not guilty of attempted murder and not guilty of an alternative count of grievous bodily harm with intent.

The victim – a 32-year-old man from Bournemouth – was working as a member of door staff at Halo nightclub on Exeter Road on the evening of Monday 11 December 2017.

At around 1.50am on Tuesday 12 December, Dodson was evicted from the club after complaints had been made about his behaviour in the outside smoking area.

Dodson then punched another member of door staff on the pavement outside the club before being restrained. He was released a few minutes later.

He then walked away toward The Square, before making his way back to the Winter Gardens car park where he collected his car.

Dodson was seen to drive his Vauxhall Corsa toward the nightclub before mounting the pavement and crashing through the club’s metal barriers and colliding with the victim at speed.

The car then collided with a lamp post and Dodson got out of the vehicle and attempted to run away.

Passing members of the public who witnessed the incident then chased after Dodson and restrained him before police officers arrived.

Dodson was taken to hospital for treatment to cuts and bruises. A breathalyser test at a police station a few hours later discovered he had 57 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath. Back calculations presented in court suggested that Dodson had 88 micrograms of alcohol in his breath at the time of the collision. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Astonishingly, the victim escaped with only minor cuts and bruises.

Detective Constable Laura McQueen, of Bournemouth CID, said: “It is an absolute miracle that the victim only sustained minor injuries and I wish to praise the actions of the members of the public and other door staff who were able to restrain Dodson so he could be arrested. I would also like to thank those who provided statements and attended court to give evidence.

“Dodson made the reckless decision to get behind the wheel after he had been drinking. He was clearly not in a fit state to drive and his actions could have resulted in far more serious or even fatal consequences.”