A SPURNED Wembley hairdresser who drank anti-freeze before ploughing his car into his former partner's house wants to represent himself at his sentencing hearing, a court heard.

Jealous Edmund Bruton, of Harrow Road, balanced a pitch fork between his neck and the dashboard of his black Peugeot before speeding at 80mph into Tara Lavery's home in Reading in Berkshire.

The 42-year-old drove his vehicle at the property on Saturday, February 26, because he thought Ms Lavery was seeing another man.

The car careered through the garden wall and smashed through the bay window of the living room where four children were playing computer games. None were seriously hurt.

Bruton was found guilty by a jury at Inner London Crown Court in Southwark, south-east London, on September 23 of damaging property with intent to endanger life, and dangerous driving, which carry maximum sentences of life imprisonment, but not guilty of attempted murder and damaging property while being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

He was due to be sentenced today at the same court but Judge Lindsay Burn revealed he had received five letters in the meantime, two from Bruton and three from supporters including one from the defendant's mother, and that he had rejected an application from Bruton to switch legal teams.

Maureen Baker, counsel for Burton, said her client wished to mitigate himself and that she and the solicitors instructing her would like to withdraw from further representing the 42-year-old due to the "overt criticism" and "recurring dissatisfaction" about the handling of his defence at trial in the letters, at which point Bruton nodded along in the dock.

However, Mr Burn adjourned the case until a day to be decided next week, most likely Tuesday, to resolve the situation.
 
The judge said: "I make it clear that if the defendant is adamant about representing himself, he must understand that means he will not have any legal representation at the sentencing stage in this case, particular in a case of this seriousness where the court has to consider the question of 'dangerousness'.

"Mr Bruton does not, and cannot be expected to, understand the legal niceties in this case."

During the trial, the court heard on the day of the crash, one of the children at Ms Lavery's home had answered the phone to a friend of Bruton's who warned Bruton's ex-partner she was in danger because her former lover had been acting strangely.

The impact of the car destroyed the front of the house and Bruton was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries sustained during the crash, including two puncture wounds to his neck, suspected to be from the garden fork, and treatment for poisoning.

Prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson had said: "According to one of the witnesses he (Bruton) changed down a gear and gunned the engine so much that a postman who happened to be delivering letters had to jump out of the way.

"The postman puts the speed of the car at up to 80mph.

"To the horror of those who were watching, it went straight into the bend and made no attempt to turn - it went straight, at speed, into the house."

After the crash Bruton sent two of his friends text messages with a video clip of him apparently being treated by paramedics with the message: "I love you all".

The court heard how Bruton met Ms Lavery through an internet dating site in January 2010 but their relationship became strained in early 2011 and the pair broke up.

He used to work in IT for healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline but was made redundant. The court heard he then opened his own hair and beauty salon in Richmond, south-west London, called Amo but that during the course of his relationship with Ms Lavery it had run into financial difficulties.

At the same time his elderly mother was admitted to hospital with health problems although he discharged her in the days before the incident.

Bruton, who had denied all four charges against him, wore a checked pastel shirt and his mother was in court to support him.