Man who pushed press photographer’s car into ditch goes to jail

A still from the dashcam video, as the digger approaches
A still from the dashcam video, as the digger approaches

A man who upended the car of a press photographer into a ditch using a digger has been jailed for 15 months, seven suspended.

The attack happened last April when the photographer, named only as Timothy to protect his identity, drove to Lunteren with his girlfriend after a report about a a car fire at a farm near the Gelderland town.

On arriving he was immediately threatened and took refuge in his car. He was on the phone to the police when Albert E (34) tipped the car into the ditch where it landed upside down. The photographer and his girlfriend had to be cut free by emergency services and sustained minor injuries.

The judge said a reconstruction of the events, which were caught on the car’s dashcam, showed that the outcome could easily have been fatal. E faced accusations of attempted aggravated assault but not attempted manslaughter.

The judge did not consider the event an attack on the freedom of the press because it could not be established if E knew he was dealing with a press photographer.

E was also told he must report to his probation officer and undergo treatment. The judge said this was to ensure the man, who has no prior convictions, would not attempt a similar attack again.

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