A WOMAN left her ex-husband homeless after smashing her car through the wall of his flat just days after being released from a psychiatric hospital.
Julie Ferris, of Peter Firkins Court on Westcott Place, was jailed for two years on Monday after Swindon Crown Court heard her Mazda left ‘carnage’ in the bedroom she had ploughed into.
As she was being cut free from the wreckage on Heronbridge Close, Westlea, she told rescuers: “That’s what is wrong with cars these days: they have got air bags.”
Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told the court the 53-year-old had married Stuart Ferris in 2003 but they divorced four years later.
On the morning of Tuesday, October 29 last year they had argued on the phone and he had sent her an unpleasant text message.
“At about 1.40pm he was in the kitchen of his ground floor flat when he heard the sound of a car coming very fast, revving its engine, and he heard a tremendous bang,” said Ms Squire.
“He went to go to the bedroom but there were bricks and dust flying everywhere and he could see a car had come through the front wall of his property.
“He says it was carnage, everything in his room was smashed. He went to see the car and only then he realised the car that had come though his wall was the Mazda of his wife Julie Ferris.
“He initially thought she was dead as she was sat with her eyes closed.”
Mr Ferris, 54, said: “I was just about to go out when I heard this screeching noise.
“Before I knew it the car had gone straight through the front wall. I thought I was a goner at first. It was terrifying.
“She was still trapped in the car and was in a bit of a state so I tried to get her out. The emergency services came round and kept me away from the house while they got her out of the car.
“It was an absolute mess. The car went into my bedroom because it was at the front of the house, so it was just a good job I was not in bed at the time. The car was a total write-off. The house was completely destroyed and I had to find somewhere else to live.”
He spent two weeks at Oak Lodge respite home on Bath Road while he searched for alternative accommodation, and friends let him stay on their sofas until he got back on his feet.
Ferris was interviewed the following day by police. “She said ‘all I want is the lethal injection’,” said Ms Squire. Referring to photographs of the car in the wall Miss Squire said: “Had there been somebody in that room when the car went through that brick wall someone’s life would have been in danger.”
Ferris, of Peter Firkins Court, on Westcott Place, pleaded guilty to criminal damage being reckless as to whether life was endangered and dangerous driving.
Timothy Greaves, defending, said despite his client’s problems there are many people who think well of her and had written references.
He said she had self-harmed in the past and did not feel she was ready to leave hospital when she was discharged a few days earlier.
“When asked why this all happened she is at great difficulty to explain,” he told the court. “She can’t explain as to why she reached such a breaking point.”
Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “The outcome of your actions could easily have been catastrophic. Your remorse almost immediately once you came to your senses is undoubtedly profound and enables me to keep the sentence relatively short.”
As well as jailing her for two years he also banned her from driving for the same period and until she has passed an extended retest.