Jealous woman drove car at ex-boyfriend after seeing him holding hands with her best friend

Karen Orchard arrives at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall
Karen Orchard arrives at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall

A woman who drove her car at her ex-boyfriend and best mate after they started dating has been cleared of attempted murder despite telling a friend: ”I just tried to kill them”.

Jealous Karen Orchard, 40, saw red after she spotted ex partner Geoffrey Richards, 41, holding hands with Rosanna Vanhorn, 35, a court heard.

The two women used to be best friends but fell out when Rosanna started dating Geoffrey, who Orchard was previously in a relationship with for seven years.


Karen Orchard arrives at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall
Karen Orchard arrives at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall


Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn leave together
Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn leave together

Mum-of-two Karen spotted the pair in the small village they all live in and in a fit of rage drove her car at them.

The couple were forced to jump out the way of her car – forcing them to hide in a friend’s home, behind a garage and on a gate.

Orchard, the court heard, then sent a text to a friend saying: ”You were right as usual about that sweet little innocent Rosanna.

”F*cking bitch, I am the third person she has done this to. Anyway, I just tried to kill them so if you hear the rozzers that’s for me.”

But despite sending the text message Orchard, of Parc An than, The Lizard, Cornwall, was cleared of attempted murder at Truro Crown Court.

The former nanny was also cleared of attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm and one charge of dangerous driving.

But she admitted a second charge of dangerous driving and was banned from driving for 12 months.

Mr Justice Bennett jailed her for six months but she was freed immediately because of the amount of time she had been subject to curfew.

He said: “The count of dangerous driving is a serious one and having heard the evidence I am quite satisfied that it was dangerous driving that went well beyond exposing property to serious danger.”

Orchard’s trial heard she first drove at the couple after she saw them getting out of their car near the village green.

They emerged from their vehicle holding hands and Orchard’s car swerved at them forcing them to jump out the way and hide in a friend’s house.

Lou Sellick, prosecuting, said: “At 7.30pm, Geoffrey Richards and Rosanna Vanhorn got out of her car which she parked in the square at The Lizard village.

“They were going to visit a friend who lived there when they saw the defendant approach them in her car.

“She swerved directly at them, sounding her horn. They jumped out of the way and if they hadn’t they would have been run over.”

The couple later came out and found their own car covered in paint and dog poo and were then were nearly hit by Orchard’s car – again.

Rosanna was forced to jump on a fence and gate to avoid the car and the pair fled but were again forced to jump out of the way of the car.

They eventually managed to escape and hide behind a garage during the incident.

The count of dangerous driving she was convicted of related to Mr Richards and Ms Vanhorn jumping over a gate to get away from her.

Rosanna Vanhorn told the court: ”We kept on running then we came to a gate that was shut and we jumped the gate.

”I landed on the floor and the car came through the gate. I was on the floor when the car went through and the gate ended up on top of me.”

Orchard was told she must pass an extended driving test and was ordered to pay a further £265. She was also electronically tagged for 130 days.

The court heard Orchard has been battling ill health including cancer.


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