A former international showjumper branded a “bully” in court by his own mother has been jailed after deliberately hitting a cyclist, leaving him for dead, and then trying to get a stable lad to help him cover up the incident.
Last September, 22-year-old Christopher Robertson of Chiddingfold, Surrey, deliberately hit 66-year-old former IT consultant Leslie Smith while driving down a country lane in his Citroën Xantia, reports The Times.
He then returned to the family stud farm, where he took steps to cover up the incident including washing down his car and replacing a number plate damaged in the collision, later telling police that he had done so after hitting a deer. He also told a stable lad to take down notices put up by police appealing for witnesses.
The victim, who almost died from his injuries, had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance and spent more than three months there, including nearly three weeks in intensive care. His injuries included lacerations of the liver, internal bleeding, broken ribs, a fractured hand, wounds to his throat and cuts in both legs.
Sentencing Robertson to 33 months in prison at Guildford Crown Court for dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice, Judge Peter Moss said: “Mr Smith suffered appalling injuries from which he nearly died. He will continue to suffer for the rest of his life.” On being sentenced, Roberston swore at the judge before vomiting in the dock and struggled as he was led to the cells.
Robertson’s guilt came to light when police made a connection between his car and the crash and visited his family’s stud farm to interview staff. One employee, Victoria Davis, told police that Robertson – who had a prior conviction for driving off after an accident – had claimed the collision arose because he had not seen Mr Smith until it was too late since the road had a blind spot.
However, stable lad Scott Coleman, aged 22, helped officers piece together what had really happened when he revealed that Robertson had told him he had hit the victim on purpose because he was taking up the road, claiming that he only meant to “clip” him to send him into a roadside ditch.
Robertson’s own mother appeared as a witness for the prosecution and told the court: “Scott Coleman was frightened of Christopher. Christopher likes to dominate people. He’s quite a bully.”
Robertson, who in the past has received psychiatric treatment after attacking his mother, was upset that she had appeared as a prosecution witness, but the judge told him was wrong to think that.
“You feel she has been disloyal,” said the judge, before pointing out that the fact she was in court at sentencing to support him proved he was wrong.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.