Pregnant driver feared for life as man threw rock onto motorway at Hedge End

The M27 motorway

The M27 motorway

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Court Reporter

A PREGNANT driver has told how she prayed when she saw a man standing on a bridge over a Hampshire motorway holding a large block above his head.

Natalie Clare, who was six months pregnant at the time, described how she shut her eyes as the boulder came down.

It missed her car and crashed on to the motorway, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Ms Clare then drove to her home in Hedge End where she called the police.

The court was told how a man had been seen by other motorists throwing items from the St John’s Road Bridge on to the westbound carriageway of the M27 at Hedge End.

Among them was Kerry Alexander who was driving along St John’s Road when her daughter told her a man was throwing things off the bridge and thought he was going to do it again.

She stopped her car and spoke to the man who she saw was sweating profusely and not making much sense.

Jurors were told that the man, who was carrying a rucksack, then ran off.

Police called to the scene searched the area while other officers carried out a rolling road block on the motorway for colleagues to remove debris which cars had driven over.

Officers then detained Bronson Harley in Coates Road, Sholing.

He was taken to Southampton Central police station for questioning.

Appearing at court Harley, 22, of Somerton Avenue, Harefield, was found to be unfit to plead to an allegation that he had endangered road users.

However, after 30 minutes’ deliberation, jurors decided that he had committed the offence on June 28 last year.

Harley was remanded to a special hospital in north Hampshire pending sentence.

He will return to the crown court next Thursday when Judge Derwin Hope will have three options – to give him an absolute discharge, place him on probation or make him the subject of a hospital order.

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