A PUB landlord who “took the law into his own hands” has been jailed for nine months after he rammed his 4x4 into the back of a teenager’s car.

David Swinburn, of the Fox in Bransford, near Worcester, “snapped” after a long history of incidents involving his family and some local youths, Worcester Crown Court heard.

He pursued 18-year-old driver Christopher Riley and two friends for two miles along country roads, often at high speeds at about 11pm on September 17 last year.

When they turned left in Leigh Sinton past the Royal Oak, he drove his Vauxhall Frontera into the back of their Rover causing a whiplash injury to one of the passengers and showering another with glass. Swinburn denied a charge of dangerous driving but was found guilty by a jury after a trial.

Nicholas Berry, defending, said when the trial reports appeared daily in the Worcester News he was inundated with letters of support for Swinburn.

He said he had an unprecedented number of people – more than 60 – contact him, ranging from members of the police and fire service to parish councillors and people from a variety of professions.

They all praised Swinburn as a responsible and hard-working man who was well known for raising money for various charities.

He was a man of “impeccable” character. He said there had been a series of incidents involving Swinburn and his family and the youths, including nuisance calls and graffiti, and he had become dissatisfied that it had not been resolved.

No one had been charged over the incidents though five youths had been given harassment warnings, Mr Berry said.

Swinburn and his family had been “brought to their knees” with despair and on the night of the offence, after Swinburn’s son Kyle and his girlfriend had been involved in another incident, he snapped and lost his self control.

As a result, the 43-year-old, who has been a licensee for 24 years, has been involved in disciplinary proceedings with the pub company.

Mr Berry said that a jail sentence would almost certainly mean Swinburn and his wife Karen would lose their licence because it was held jointly.

Recorder Davinder Lachaar said it was lucky there were not more serious injuries or even death as a result of the crash. Swinburn had used his vehicle as a weapon and taken the law into his own hands.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to retake his test.