A Newport driver deliberately ran into a group of people after he over reacted to a “trivial” exchange of abuse, it was alleged today.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting at Swansea crown court, said Craig Morgan Wilmott, aged 32, used his Mitsubishi Warrior as a weapon and put two of the group in hospital.

Wilmott, of Maes Ingli, denies wounding Paul David Reading with intent, and a lesser, alternative charge of wounding him but without intent.

He also denies attempting to cause Kieran Morgans grievous bodily harm, and assaulting him causing actual bodily harm.

Wilmott also denies dangerous driving.

Mr Hobson said on November 9 last year Mr Reading, his brother Mathew, Mr Morgans and Adam Davies and his girlfriend Alice Lewis had been socialising at a house in Newport.

They decided to walk to another house and set off along the A487, on a stretch without pavements.

Wilmott drove passed them and they shouted at him to be more careful “although probably not as politely as that.” Wilmott stopped and exchanged abuse with them.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs it should have stopped there,” added Mr Hobson.

Wilmott drove off but soon turned round and headed back to the group. He caught up with them as they walked across the mouth of the entrance to Maes y Cnwce.

Mr Davies saw him coming and pushed Miss Lewis out of the way before leaping clear himself.

But the 4 x 4 hit Mr Reading and threw him onto the bonnet. He suffered “unpleasant” cuts to his face wrist and elbow. Mr Morgans was also hit and spent the next month on crutches.

“The defendant was wound up about the earlier incident and completely over reacted to what had been a trivial exchange. He aimed his four by four at them and used it was a weapon,” said Mr Hobson.

Wilmott drove away and made no attempt to contact the emergency services.

After his arrest Wilmott told police he had panicked when members of the group had thrown cans at his car. He braked hard but the wheels locked up and he skidded into Mr Reading and Mr Morgans.

Asked why he had turned round and driven back to the group he said he thought his brother might have been with them and in need of a lift.

“He maintained that it had been an accident,” added Mr Hobson.

The trial is expected to end later this week.