Sussex mum’s shock as car is ‘shot at’ on seafront

Joanne Smith (inset) and her car window after the incident
Joanne Smith (inset) and her car window after the incident

A Sussex mum has spoken of her shock and horror after her car was ‘shot at’ while driving home from work.

Joanne Smith said she was driving home from Hove on Wednesday, August 14, when her Mini car was ‘fired at’ on Brighton seafront.

Photo contributed

Photo contributed

The 54-year-old paralegal, who lives in Peacehaven, said she ducked down in fear and was left baffled when she could not see what had happened.

She said: “At 7.25pm I was driving home from work in Hove and when I got level with the old casino on the A259 and something was shot at my car.

“The noise made my ears ring and I ducked down. I tried looking around but it was drizzling and I looked all around my car to see what had happened.

“When I looked over my left shoulder the rear passenger window had a hole straight through it and the rest of the window was completely cracked.”

I just want people to be aware that someone was firing something at cars on that coast road.

Joanne Smith

The mum-of-three said she drove on before stopping near the Royal Sussex County Hospital to call her husband to tell him what had happened.

She said she sent him photos of the damage and he told her to call the police.

“I called them and explained what had happened,” she said.

“They asked me if there was a threat to life, which I confirmed there wasn’t.

“They sent two officers down who had a look around and agreed that my car had definitely been shot at.”

Joanne said no pellet was found by police but it could not have possibly been a stone because of the damage.

“It takes a punch to do that to a window,” she commented.

“I have driven 30 years and have had chipped windscreens – this was nothing like that.”

She said she wanted to share her story to warn others.

“I just want people to be aware that someone was firing something at cars on that coast road,” she said.

“I’ve been shocked that absolutely nothing has been said anywhere about it.

“And nobody has taken notice of the severity of what happened – it was horrific.”

She added: “My grandson sits exactly where it happened sometimes. I am very thankful I wasn’t taking him back to my house that night.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “At 7.30pm on Wednesday, August 14, we received a report that an unknown projectile had just gone through the window of a car being driven In Marine Parade, Brighton.

“The woman driving the car was shocked but unhurt. The object which caused the damage was not found.

“Anyone with information can contact the police online at or by calling 101, quoting serial 1266 of 14/08.”