A van driver has admitted knocking a dad and toddler off a bicycle, then running over the bike while the youngster was strapped onto it as he made his escape.
Robin Tippett shunted into Paul Squires and his son Daniel, aged two-and-a-half, before crushing their mountain bike as he left. The “very angry” father is now considering buying a second car to get around, a court heard.
Tippett, of Eagle Crescent in Pucklechurch, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident and driving without due care in relation to the incident in September of last year.
Jeremy Oliver, prosecuting, said both Mr Squires and his son were wearing cycle helmets and the baby was strapped into a child seat attached to the bike.
Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard how, at a junction on Cossham Street, Mangotsfield, the dad and lad were shunted one to two meters forward by 22-year-old Tippett, driving a VW Crafter flatbed van.
Mr Squires’ said in a statement: “We fell to the right.
“The white van was alongside and the driver’s window was open. I saw a male and I made eye contact.
“I shouted: ‘What are you doing, what are you doing? I’ve got my son!’”
With that the van revved, turned right and drove over the cycle, which still had Mr Squires' son on board, snapping the frame and twisting the handlebars.
Mr Squires described how he comforted his crying son and shouted out the van registration number to people nearby.
Police arrived and an ambulance was called. Both father and son had damaged cycle helmets but were not seriously hurt, the court heard on Tuesday, March 6.
Tippett was tracked down later.
Mr Squires said: “The incident left me very angry. Hitting someone off their bike, then driving off.
“It was only good luck the equipment protected (my son), even though that is what it is designed for.
“I cannot forgive that, it is unacceptable. It is a thought I cannot get out of my head. I’m considering purchasing a second car due to his reckless inattention.”
Mike Wynter, defending, said his client had no sight in his left eye, which was caused after a former partner hurled a mobile phone into his face. However, that the cyclist was on his right side.
Mr Wynter told the court: “He knew the cyclist was there and he drove away, knowing he hit the cyclist.”
Apologetic Tippett told a probation officer he had not realised a child was on the bike, and he was worried about being late for work and losing his job.
The court heard Tippett worked for a scaffolding firm in Avonmouth and losing his driving licence would make things difficult work-wise.
District Judge Lynne Matthews handed him a 12-month community order and banned him from driving for nine months.
She told Tippett: “You may lose your job. So be it. You are not safe driving.
“There would be a public outcry if your licence was not taken away from you.
“You were inches away from a death by dangerous driving.
“I sentence you for what happened, but I look at the risk that you pose.”
Tippett was told to perform 300 hours of unpaid work and have up to five days’ rehabilitation, including writing a letter to Mr Squires.
He was fined £500 and told to pay £85 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Tippett declined to comment as he left court.