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Businessman, 39, ran into a steward with his Porsche

Justin Lindesay, 39, pictured outside Minshull Street Crown Court on Tuesday, had been attempting to drive his £50,000 Cayenne off the driveway but found the road outside closed due to an annual ‘Whit Friday’ procession

A South African businessman ran down a steward with his Porsche during an argument when he found his path blocked by an annual parade marching past his luxury home.

Justin Lindesay, 39, had been attempting to get home in his £50,000 Cayenne but found the road outside closed due to an annual ‘Whit Friday’ procession held annually for the previous 197 years.

The origin of the Whit Walks procession of ‘Sunday school scholars’ dates back to 1821 when children from local churches would march around the streets of the North West of England to commemorate the coronation of King George IV.

But Lindesay formerly of Cape Town was new to the area and apparently knew nothing of the parade which also involved brass bands and local church officials marching down the road overlooking the Pennine hills.

When he was refused access through the cordon he got caught up in a row with stewards marshalling a section of the parade outside his £500,000 Victorian four bedroomed semi-detached in Mossley, near Oldham.

During the rumpus, the Porsche rolled forward hitting one of the stewards sparking a further row in which the keys to the vehicle were seized and police were called. It is not believed the steward was injured.

Lindesey who runs a business with his wife restoring vintage furniture was later charged with dangerous driving after the incident in May last year and faced up to two years jail if convicted.

But on Tuesday on the day he was due to face trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, prosecutors accepted his plea to the lesser charge of driving without due care and attention.

He was conditionally discharged after he insisted the steward was hit by accident. He was spared a fine but his driving licence was endorsed with three penalty points. He already had three points on his driving licence from a previous motoring matter.

Lindesay who runs a business with his wife Fiona, pictured together, restoring vintage furniture was later charged with dangerous driving after the incident in May last year

Lindesay who runs a business with his wife Fiona, pictured together, restoring vintage furniture was later charged with dangerous driving after the incident in May last year

Lindesay (right) who runs a business with his wife Fiona (pictured left, the couple together) restoring vintage furniture was later charged with dangerous driving after the incident in May last year

The event (pictured) dates back to 1821 when children from local churches would march around the streets of the North West of England to commemorate the coronation of King George IV

The event (pictured) dates back to 1821 when children from local churches would march around the streets of the North West of England to commemorate the coronation of King George IV

Lindesay and his wife who was in court to support him have since moved 130 miles away to Lincolnshire.

Sentencing Judge Bernard Lever told Lindesay: ”You’ve managed to get into a dispute with wardens and the car you drive has rolled forward and come into contact with the hand of one of the wardens.

”There is no suggestion you deliberately drove into the man’s hand. This process of litigation must have been stressful for you and your wife. You’ve had to pay for legal aid and this whole thing will have been hanging over you both.

”You received scratches on your chest from the wardens trying to take your keys off you during the episode.

”I’m obliged to give you three penalty points but I am not going to order costs against you or order you pay compensation. Thank you to you and your wife for coming. I full expect this will be the only visit to the courts you have to make. We have very dangerous criminals in these courts and we sometimes have to dish out life sentences but not for you.”

Earlier Jon Close prosecuting said: ”The defendant was trying to get to his house on the 25th of May last year when he found the roads around his house closed for a Whit Walks event that was taking place at the time.

”He was told by stewards he couldn’t use the road but something of an argument broke out between him and the volunteers and the defendant drove forward a little through the road closure. One of the volunteers stood in front of his car and the defendant came to a stop. But the car came into contact with that volunteer.”

Defence lawyer Miss Kelly Cyples said: ”He’s self employed. He and his wife own a business which restores vintage furniture and sells it on. They both lead law abiding lives and they were new to the area. They hadn’t heard of Whit Walks.

The former home of Justin Lindesay in Mossley where the incident occurred during an annual procession

The former home of Justin Lindesay in Mossley where the incident occurred during an annual procession

On Tuesday on the day he was due to face trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, prosecutors accepted his plea to the lesser charge of driving without due care and attention

On Tuesday on the day he was due to face trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, prosecutors accepted his plea to the lesser charge of driving without due care and attention

”He was born in South Africa and they are now living in Lincolnshire. This was a very unfortunate incident. It was an accidental coming together of the volunteer and the car. Some cross words were exchanged and as this was happening his car rolled forward.”

The origin of the Whit Walks procession

The event dates back to 1821 when children from local churches would march around the streets of the North West of England to commemorate the coronation of King George IV.

On the day, children would walk in a procession from their schools and sing, ‘God Save the King.’ 

Each Whit Friday, local churches or chapels in the region employed bands to lead traditional processions through the streets of the area. 

Brass band contests have been held on Whit Friday in Mossley and neighbouring Stalybridge and Uppermill since 1884.

At the time of the incident local councillor Jack Homer, one of the stewards involved, said the driver had refused to heed their instructions not to advance through the cordon and was determined to continue.

He said: ‘When it became clear he was set to continue, I unsuccessfully tried to take the keys from the ignition. A number of stewards were stood in front of the car when he started to drive off forcing them to flee.’

Laura Wimbush, one of those stood in front of the car, said she was left ‘shaking’ after the incident.

Each Whit Friday, local churches or chapels in the region employed bands to lead traditional processions through the streets of the area.

Whit Friday was the ‘Scholars’ Walk’, or the Church’s Annual Day when the girls would have a new dress and the boys would have new trousers, and neighbours, friends and relatives would give a penny for their new clothes. Brass band contests have held on Whit Friday in Mossley and neighbouring Stalybridge and Uppermill since 1884. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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