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"He and his passenger were gesticulating and laughing. The intention was to run us off the road."...

A rider from the club run that was attacked by van driver Joel Morris last November has spoken about what happened when Morris deliberately tried to run the group off the road.

Terry Hughes was leading a 24-rider group from Port Sunlight Wheelers on a 75-mile Sunday club run from the Wirral into North Wales via Northop Hall on November 17 last year when Morris drove his white Transit at the riders.

“We were all riding sensibly on the  the correct side of the road,” Hughes said in an email.

“Joel Reece Morris came from a junction and saw us. He crossed the white line and drove at us probably intending as a laugh -- he and his passenger were gesticulating and laughing. The intention was there to run us off the road and if it hadn’t been for one of the ladies on the ride at the front, Nicky Fairhurst, shouting for us to take evasive action I think it would have been a very serious incident."

Terry said he didn’t have time to realise he and the group were in danger.

“It all happened so fast,” he said. “I wasn't even aware that he was coming across the white line until Nicky Fairhurst, who was in front of me, swore in her best Anglo Saxon and swerved and was only just missed by him.

“We didn't have time to be frightened, but with 24 in our group 2 abreast, length of the run — 12 bikes long — would be around 100ft on the road. It was the middle or end riders who were more aware and had time to be frightened.”

The group included UK 24-hour record holder Andy Wilkinson, his wife Jill who is the current UK 12-hour champion and a number of active road racing cyclists. Terry himself is a former 12-hour team champion. Founded in 1948, Port Sunlight Wheelers has 120 members.

In some ways, it was fortunate Morris chose such an experienced group of riders to victimise.

“He caused us all to stop, pile up and some to crash into each other, causing damage to a few bikes and minor injuries to a few riders,” said Terry. As previously reported, though, there were no serious injuries.

“He sped off after completely crossing the white line, and because a number of us gave chase and got his registration number, he decided to stop about 500 yards up the road where we caught him up.”

At this point, Morris’ original defence that he had swerved to avoid something on the road might almost have been believed, by a non-cyclist at least. But what he did next probably sealed his fate in court on Wednesday.

“He then reversed at speed running us off the road again, he then gesticulated and laughed again and did a wheelie smoking his tyres and sped off, so it was then that I called the police.”

Three months later, on Wednesday of this week, Morris was sent down for six months.

Terry hailed the attitude of North Wales police and the trial judge, Niclas Parry. “North Wales police were brilliant dealing with the incident,” he said.

“Club President Gordon Pierce, who attended the Crown court hearing, said the judge highlighted that cyclists need to be protected going about their activity, which is now quite popular.

“Gordon also said what may have originally seemed a bit of a laugh developed into a malicious incident which could have been very nasty, and so the Judge made the right call, and he was thankful nobody was seriously hurt or worse.”

Terry added that his clubmate Steve Tyler, who was also on the ride that was attacked, has managed to find a funny side to it. “I know the Welsh are not too happy with us coming and riding en masse on their roads, but that was a bit extreme to try and get rid of us,” Steve said.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

18 comments

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bobcdc [22 posts] 3 years ago
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Having a gopro on rides - not such a bad idea.

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brackley88 [169 posts] 3 years ago
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Airzound wrote:

The guy should be strung up.

Thats a really silly thing to say.

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 3 years ago
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It's good to hear from the victims, they wear obviously shook up.
I believe the sentence to be appropriate on this occasion.
Get on ride on folks. It's a rare situation dealing with unintelligent folk like the van driver.

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matthewn5 [1038 posts] 3 years ago
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Yeah, stringing up is too soft!

Hung drawn and quartered. What a waste of space.

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don simon [1150 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

said the judge highlighted that cyclists need to be protected going about their activity, which is now quite popular.

This I believe is an important quote. As cycling becomes more popular the defense of not expecting cyclists and therefore due care and attention charges will become less common.
Recognising that cycling is becoming the norm and acceptable can only be a good thing, for everyone.
Good to hear that there are no long lasting physical injuries.

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pacef8 [14 posts] 3 years ago
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The consensus in our club is that he could of killed a few of us and we where looking at another Rhyl incident.

We commend the judge for being sensible and not picking items like not wearing a helmet as being a liability.

One Sunlight as we say.

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11speedaddict [75 posts] 3 years ago
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The reality is he would not have gone to prison only he had previous motoring convictions. Several. And considering he was so young it takes effort to get caught that many times in so few years. I am amazed he had insurance. Total dickhead.

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Metjas [362 posts] 3 years ago
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glad you got this guy off the road.

Lovely club kit btw.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1640 posts] 3 years ago
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don simon wrote:

As cycling becomes more popular the defense of not expecting cyclists and therefore due care and attention charges will become less common.
Recognising that cycling is becoming the norm and acceptable can only be a good thing, for everyone.

I'm not convinced that cycling _is_ becoming that much more popular, to be honest, but leaving that aside, another benefit of it doing so is that you'd get more judges, police, CPS employees and members of juries who actually ride a bike themselves as a primary means of transport on the roads, or at least know someone who does. I think that would help matters greatly in terms of such offences being taken seriously.

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AnalogueAndy [30 posts] 3 years ago
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Well done to the Sunlight for reporting him and pursuing it to the just and propper outcome that resulted. I only hope this gets picked up by the national press and makes people think.

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gazzaputt [230 posts] 3 years ago
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Glad to see North Wales police take this seriously. Had this been the Met police they'd have received a letter that reading between the lines says 'we can't be bothered to follow this up'.

Shocking how different police forces take the seriousness of cycling incidents involving motor vehicles.

I had the same type of thing happen to me and just had a letter from Met police saying they're are taking no action.

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WolfieSmith [1380 posts] 3 years ago
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Good for the PSW!

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Clearboy [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Justice in a small dose - so glad to see no fellow cyclists were killed, injured etc - could have been worse - even better that the police took action. I got run over and nearly killed in 2001, the police were not interested and told me to pursue a civil action personally
 39

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Paul_C [500 posts] 3 years ago
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11speedaddict wrote:

The reality is he would not have gone to prison only he had previous motoring convictions. Several. And considering he was so young it takes effort to get caught that many times in so few years. I am amazed he had insurance. Total dickhead.

Company vehicle... probably doesn't have his own car and is allowed to use it to drive to and from work...

ind you, it's a condition of MY employment that I do not have points on MY licence for major items else I cannot drive our company vehicles. It should be a condition of insurance for commercial vehicles that drivers keep a clean licence.

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ricolek [40 posts] 3 years ago
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This has really become a hate site full of news about cyclists in accidents  2 It's a shame, it used to be really good.

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nbrus [371 posts] 3 years ago
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“...with 24 in our group 2 abreast, length of the run — 12 bikes long — would be around 100ft on the road..."
Wow ... how inconsiderate to other road users. You should separate out into groups of no more than 2-3 in single file when on a main road ... so that other vehicles can overtake safely.

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Bez [612 posts] 3 years ago
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One thing I've not yet been able to find out about this case is how Morris apparently received a 6 month disqualification when the minimum for dangerous driving is 12 months. Anyone know what I've missed?

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ironmancole [345 posts] 3 years ago
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Prime candidate for the desperately overdue law of stripping an individual of their licence for life. Repeat offender, attempted to avoid responsibility and is unlikely to change his attitude until he does 'accidentally' kill someone.

Can any MP tell me why this idiot has more right to operate a lethal weapon in the public domain than the rest of the entire country has to simply go about their daily lives without fear of being maimed or killed 'for a laugh?'