Road-rage driver, 39, chased female motorist, forced her to stop in the middle of the road and jumped onto her car bonnet after he crashed his BMW when she pulled out in front of him

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An angry driver chased down a female motorist and forced her to stop in the middle of a motorway before jumping onto her car bonnet during a terrifying road rage row.

Craig Prunty, 39, caused police to close off two lanes of a motorway after he launched himself onto a woman’s moving car in a fit of rage over him pranging his new BMW.

The man, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, brought traffic grinding to a halt when he threw a temper tantrum at the wheel of his grey 150mph 5-series vehicle after he crashed into a set of bollards when Gillian Shea pulled out in front of him. 

Initially the father-of-three stopped in the carriageway to exchange details, but was then seen throwing the bollards aside before shouting at Miss Shea: ‘What the f*** are you doing?’

Craig Prunty, 39, chased down Gillian Shea and forced her to stop in the middle of a motorway before jumping onto her car bonnet during a terrifying road rage row

Craig Prunty, 39, chased down Gillian Shea and forced her to stop in the middle of a motorway before jumping onto her car bonnet during a terrifying road rage row

The aftermath of the incident shows police at the scene as two lanes were closed off

The aftermath of the incident shows police at the scene as two lanes were closed off

When she drove off in fright, he chased her along the M56 Westbound between Junction 6 and 7 near Hale Barns, Cheshire, before drawing up parallel to her Kia Nero as the pair were travelling at a speed of up to 50mph.

As other motorists looked on in shock, Prunty lowered his car window and began beeping his horn at Miss Shea, demanding she stop on the hard shoulder, before then edging his BMW towards the Kia to force her to pull over.

In a desperate attempt, Prunty overtook Miss Shea in the middle lane and stopped in front of her, causing traffic behind her to grind to a halt.

He got out of his car again and shook his fist whilst stood in the middle of the busy carriageway.

The former trucker had only purchased the BMW six months prior to the incident, and had been living in the vehicle after losing his job, breaking up with his partner and moving out of his family home

The former trucker had only purchased the BMW six months prior to the incident, and had been living in the vehicle after losing his job, breaking up with his partner and moving out of his family home

Miss Shea attempted to make an escape but Prunty jumped onto the bonnet of her moving car and fell into the road, forcing police to close two lanes of the motorway causing severe delays.

Prunty was treated for an injured leg and taken to hospital. 

Appearing at Chester Crown Court, the former trucker who had bought the BMW only six months earlier revealed he had been living in the vehicle after losing his job, breaking up with his partner and moving out of his family home in Hazel Grove, near Stockport.

He had previously posted pictures of the vehicle on Facebook saying: ‘I work my a**e off so might as well have something to show for it.’

He claimed he had been following Miss Shea to get a picture of her car on his mobile phone as he wanted to report her driving to police and his hand was shaking as he was ‘upset.’

Prunty, who now lives in a one bedroomed flat in Brinnington, Stockport, faced up to 18 months jail after he admitted dangerous driving, but was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after filing a basis of plea giving his own version of events which was read out at the hearing.

Prunty pictured recovering in hospital after jumping onto the bonnet of Miss Shea's moving car and injuring himself

Prunty pictured recovering in hospital after jumping onto the bonnet of Miss Shea’s moving car and injuring himself

The judge commented that it was ‘astonishing’ that no accidents were caused as a result of his stopping in the middle of the carriageway.

Judge Steven Everett warned: ‘The reality is that there was always that risk that if somebody hit the back of her car, somebody could have been killed. 

‘If somebody had been killed, I would be sending you to prison for a very long time indeed.’

The incident on December 20, 2022, took place when Prunty was travelling along the A555 near Manchester Airport at 10.30am. 

No statement giving Miss Shea’s side was aired in court.

In mitigation for Prunty who injured his left leg falling off the car, defence counsel Emily Woodside said: ‘He has described this as a foolish mistake and he made a fool of himself that day – but this incident was a tipping point due to the stresses in his personal life.

‘He had lost his job and his relationship ended and he did not have stable accommodation at that time. Prior to that he had been living in that very car. He had not seen his children in a couple of months and he was having significant family issues. It was a period of being under severe pressure. It was a breaking point and given that his car was his only asset there was an overreaction to what occurred.

‘He has reflected on his actions and knows it was wrong and should have responded differently. Mr Prunty was injured when he came off the bonnet. He claims that he experiences daily pain which is a constant reminder of what happened. He cannot work or drive because of the pain.

The 39-year-old was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after filing a basis of plea giving his own version of events which was read out at the hearing

The 39-year-old was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after filing a basis of plea giving his own version of events which was read out at the hearing

‘In the 18 months since the incident things are better and he is in a more stable situation. He is someone who wants to get back to work and he wants a better life for himself.’

Prunty was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, attend 25 days of rehabilitation activity and was banned from driving for 12 months. A charge against him of using threatening behaviour towards Miss Shea was dropped. 

In his plea basis he said: ‘There was heavy traffic and it was busy and I moved over to the left lane for the slip road.

‘But as I approached the bend I saw a blue car pull in front of a van from the hard shoulder, manoeuvred quickly and then went in front of me. 

‘As a result I had to take evasive action to avoid contacting the blue vehicle and I quickly considered whether I should stop or try and accelerate past the vehicle to make myself safe.

‘I did not make a dangerous manoeuvre but as I tried to accelerate around the vehicle, I did hit some road cones which damaged my vehicle and I then stopped my car. 

‘There was only one lane and at this point I stopped in between the active lane and the chevrons.

In his plea basis, Prunty said he had no intention of trying to locate the vehicle in order to exact any revenge or cause any distress to the driver

In his plea basis, Prunty said he had no intention of trying to locate the vehicle in order to exact any revenge or cause any distress to the driver

‘I expected the driver of the blue vehicle to stop and exchange her details as she had caused me to make a manoeuvre which had damaged my vehicle. I got out of my car and looked at the damage and the driver of the blue vehicle just sat there. I made a comment along the lines of “what the f*** are you doing ?” as I was upset.

‘But the driver of the other vehicle then drove through the cones to get away from me. I did not go near the blue vehicle or try to approach it in an intimidating manner. 

‘I remained near my car at all times so I was not close to the blue vehicle and I believe that I was more than a car length away from the blue vehicle. I was trying to remove the cones from the front of my vehicle and I was throwing them to the side to remove them.

‘The driver of the blue vehicle smiled at me in a patronising manner and she drove past me on the passenger side and I decided the best course of action would be to try and find the blue vehicle in order to obtain the details so that I could report the incident.

‘I had no intention of trying to locate the vehicle in order to exact any revenge or cause any distress to the driver. I did not drive at excessive speed to try and find the driver of the blue vehicle and in any event on that part of the motorway there were road works so there was a maximum speed limit of 50 mph.

‘When I came across the blue vehicle it was in the middle lane and vehicles were undertaking the driver and other vehicles were behind her.

‘I drove up to the side of her and beeped my horn, my window was down, I was not aggressive but I confirmed that she would need to pull over and she just laughed at me and I could see that she was mothing the words “f*** off”, and she also gestured this.

‘This happened for 10 seconds or less and the driver refused to pull over and stayed in the middle lane so I put my indicator on and tried to get her to go into the slow lane by slightly veering my vehicle towards her. I did not want to make contact or damage her vehicle but I was trying to encourage her to pull over. I then pulled into the middle lane and brought my vehicle to a stop and everything behind stopped.’

‘I got out of my vehicle with my phone with the intention of taking a photograph of the vehicle but my hand was shaking and I could not take a proper photograph. The driver of the blue vehicle then reversed and pulled off and drove at me and I had no choice but to get onto the bonnet of the vehicle because if I had stayed where I was, I did not expect her to stop and I would have been run over.

‘I expected her to stop when I got to the bonnet of her vehicle but she continued to drive. After she had continued to drive with me on the bonnet, I took the decision to roll off the bonnet as I was frightened for my life and I did not know what else to do.’

The judge told the father-of-three that it is 'astonishing nobody went into the back of her and hit you' as he warned 'somebody could have been killed' because of his stopping in the middle lane of the motorway

The judge told the father-of-three that it is ‘astonishing nobody went into the back of her and hit you’ as he warned ‘somebody could have been killed’ because of his stopping in the middle lane of the motorway

Judge Steven Everett told him: ‘It is not for me to look at the rights and wrongs of what happened between you and the complainant but it became clear on that day while you were on the M56 motorway you became very angry with her driving.

‘Whatever your views about what she did, what you should not have done was get in front of her, trying to push her across the road and then stopping in lane two. That is a truly dangerous thing to do.

‘You stopped in the middle lane of the motorway when you should not have done in what was a fit of temper at what had happened. It is astonishing nobody went into the back of her and hit you.

‘It is astonishing that she did not crash into somebody when you were trying to push her across the road.

‘The M56 is a busy motorway. The reality is that there was always that risk that if somebody hit the back of her car, somebody could have been killed. 

‘If somebody had been killed, I would be sending you to prison for a very long time indeed.

‘Fortunately for her and everybody else on that motorway that day, happily no one was injured. You can thank your lucky stars that did not happen. Otherwise, the consequences for you and for her would have been very much worse.’