A MOTORIST who drove a car at refuse collectors who refused to take his cardboard because it was filled with polystyrene has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Simon Jacobs followed workers from recycling firm Veolia and swore at them after they the box he had left outside his home.

He then got back into the Vauxhall Corsa and drove towards the collectors.

Jacobs, 54, admitted common assault and threatening behaviour when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court yesterday, on the basis he did not mean to drive the car at the men but had lost control when a hot flask of coffee spilt in the car.

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting said: "The box was left in place as per company policy.

"The two carried on their collection round but saw the defendant driving towards them with the box hanging out the boot.

"The then got out the car and shouted at them asking them to do their job.

"They explained they were not able to take the box because of the polystyrene.

"He then pulled away so fast the car was heard screeching and towards one of the refuse collectors who jumped out the way."

Jacobs, of Chase Lane, Dovercourt, told the probation service he regrets the incidents and was sorry for the distress he had caused.

Ita Farrelly, mitigating said: "It was a difficult time for him because he had been a victim of burglary.

"His daughters bought him a new television set and he had asked for the cardboard box to be removed.

"He did not want to advertise he had a brand new television in the house.

"It was his daughter's car and he was trying to drive away.

"He accidentally hit the accelerator when the coffee spilt."

Magistrates handed Jacobs a 12 week prison sentence suspended for a year.

He must pay £300 to the refuse collector he nearly ran over, and £100 to the other.