Two brothers who went “tooled up” to a car wash after an argument with a worker there were spared a spell behind bars

Swindon Crown Court heard Alexandru-Beniamin Hofman, 23, aimed his blue Ford Transit at the employee at the car wash behind the Queen’s Drive Texaco garage while his brother, 27-year-old Daniel Hofman brandished a pole and scrapped with the man.

They were spared an immediate jail sentence after Judge Peter Crabtree heard they were remorseful, had helped police with their enquiries and had no previous convictions.

Sentencing Daniel to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years and Alexandru to 10 months suspended for two years, the judge said: “Whatever the background the two of you went to the garage in a place to target the complainant, taking weapons to cause him at the least very real fear of serious injury and at one point using the van as a weapon for that purpose.”

He added: “The only reasonable inference to be drawn from the CCTV footage is that your actions caused fear and distress not least to the manager of the Texaco garage, who talks about being fearful that you were trying to run someone over. He was so concerned that he rang the police.

“In addition, wielding a metal police and repeatedly driving at someone creates a very real risk of serious harm.”

Both men must perform 200 hours of community service. Alexandru, who drove the Transit van at their victim, was banned from the roads for a year and must pass an extended retest if he wants his licence back.

Last week, prosecutor Russell Pyne said the Hofman brothers had gone to the Texaco garage on Queen’s Drive at around 8.15am on August 4, 2020.

It followed an earlier argument between a worker at the car wash behind the garage and Daniel. Mr Pyne said: “These defendants went to his workplace for revenge,” the barrister said.

CCTV showed the brothers pull up in their Transit van, get out and remonstrate with the car wash worker. The man’s colleague tried to intervene.

The men scrapped, with the brothers stripped of their weapons by the car wash workers. Alexandru-Beniamin Hofman drove the van towards the victim several times in an effort to scare him.

Their victim used a spade to splinter the van’s windscreen.

Police were called by a member of staff at the Texaco garage who had spotted what was going on. The Hofman brothers were arrested at the scene and the weapons, which they had managed to retrieve, were found in the van.

Daniel Hofman, 27, of Kingshill Road, pleaded guilty to affray. Alexandru-Beniamin Hofman, 23, also of Kingshill Road, admitted affray and dangerous driving.