A PUBGOER got in a fight over Covid regulations before climbing in his van and deliberately crashing into another man. 

Philip Forrest got in a row after being reminded to wear a mask and respect social distancing while drinking at The Three Fishes in Chapel Road, Worthing.

The 42-year-old argued with a group of customers before getting in an altercation with another man who stuck up for them.

This continued outside on the street where Forrest punched the 55-year-old victim in the face before fleeing the scene.

Shortly afterwards, the victim was walking near Liverpool Gardens when a white Vauxhall Combo van mounted the kerb and crashed into him.

The victim suffered serious injuries, including a broken arm, during the incident on October 10, 2020.

The Argus: Philip Forrest, of Ivydore Avenue, Worthing Philip Forrest, of Ivydore Avenue, Worthing

The van failed to stop, but witnesses told police that Forrest had mentioned he planned to go to the Golden Lion pub in The Strand, Durrington, where he was later found drinking at the bar.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving with 69mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system - the legal limit being 35mcg - dangerous driving and committing grievous bodily harm.

After pleading guilty to all three offences, Forrest, of Ivydore Avenue, Worthing, was sentenced to ten years and nine months in prison.

He must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence.

The carpenter was also disqualified from driving for ten years and seven months.

Investigating officer Lucy Hailes said: “The victim in this case had stuck up for another group who took offence to Forrest’s lack of respect for social distancing restrictions in the pub.

“Shortly afterwards, he was assaulted outside the pub and then deliberately run over by him, causing serious injuries.

“These were the actions of a mindless and dangerous criminal who also consciously got behind the wheel of his vehicle knowing he was well over the legal drink-drive limit.

“In police interview, Forrest claimed he punched the victim in self-defence and suggested the man stepped out in front of his vehicle, causing the collision. His account was not supported by either of the witnesses or CCTV footage.

“He also stated he had consumed several drinks at the Golden Lion before his arrest, suggesting he had not driven while over the limit. But again, his account was not supported by staff who served him.

“Forrest took no responsibility for his actions and has expressed no remorse throughout. He was even dismissive of the risks of drink-driving, claiming that blowing 69mcg was ‘no big deal’ and adding that he had blown 140mcg on a previous occasion.”