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Speed-trap prom cyclist denies assaulting official and police woman

A cyclist has appeared before Poole Magistrates’ Court accused of assaulting a police officer and Bournemouth’s seafront manager on the seaside resort’s promenade last June.

The alleged assaults, reported on road.cc at the time, took place against the backdrop of tension between cyclists and the local authority and police, who have been aiming to combat the perceived problem of people riding along the promenade at speeds exceeding 10mph.

The cyclist, 43-year-old Nicholas Rowntree from Poole, denies the charges. But as reported in the Bournemouth Echo, seafront manager Chris Saunders claims that he was forced to stop Mr Rowntree with both hands “to stop him cycling into me.”

Mr Saunders, who said that the cyclist was riding “extremely erratically with no hands on the handlebars,” added that he had been concerned for the safety of other people on the promenade such as pensioners and young mothers with their children.

He claimed that Mr Rowntree rode past him before skidding into a turn and riding at him, saying that the bike struck his shin as it passed him. “If I hadn’t jumped out of the way, it would have probably broken both my legs,” he told the court.

However, Mr Rowntree’s defence counsel disputed that version of events, saying that his client asserted there had been no contact from the bike and indeed that it had been Mr Saunders who had pushed the cyclist.

Immediately after the alleged incident, Mr Saunders contacted colleagues, resulting in police putting up a barrier apparently to stop Mr Rowntree. Police community support officer Hannah Ward told the court that she called out and put a hand up to stop the cyclist as he approached, but claimed that he shoved her away and carried on along the promenade.

PCSO Ward said, “He came towards me and shoved me off with his left arm. He shoved me on my hand with such force it almost caused me to fall over.

“I was fearful – I didn’t know what else he would do, if he would strike me.”

But through his lawyer, Mr Rowntree said that while he acknowledged he had gone through the barrier, he “simply rode through and made no contact with anyone at all.”
The court was told that he was arrested some 90 minutes later as he cycled back along the promenade.

The case has been adjourned to a later date.

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.

14 comments

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jobysp [143 posts] 7 years ago
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"If I hadn't jumped out of the way it would've probably broken both my legs"

Really? that would have to be some wide tyre.

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hammergonewest [105 posts] 7 years ago
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yeah makes him sound like something out of Mad Max rather than a bloke on a bicycle. On the other hand, maybe he is! Wish I could skid and turn though

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hammergonewest [105 posts] 7 years ago
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at the same time I mean… I can do them independently. Honest

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OldRidgeback [2715 posts] 7 years ago
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Shoving someone whilst cycling? Perhaps the prosecution should be asked to demonstrate how this is done?

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Simon_MacMichael [2476 posts] 7 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Shoving someone whilst cycling? Perhaps the prosecution should be asked to demonstrate how this is done?

I'm pretty sure I've seen some pros shove bonkers Basque fans out of the way as the TDF winds its way through the Pyrenees  3

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ctznsmith [92 posts] 7 years ago
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From the alleged actions this guy has some seriously good bike handling skills!

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demoff [327 posts] 7 years ago
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ctznsmith wrote:

From the alleged actions this guy has some seriously good bike handling skills!

Mr Saunders, who said that the cyclist was riding “extremely erratically with no hands on the handlebars,”
He claimed that Mr Rowntree rode past him before skidding into a turn and riding at him.

I am impressed riding with no hands skidding into a turn.

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OldRidgeback [2715 posts] 7 years ago
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Yep, shoving someone without having hands on the bars and then skidding to a turn and riding at someone, still without hands on bars. How do you do that?

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Mr Sock [155 posts] 7 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

Yep, shoving someone without having hands on the bars and then skidding to a turn and riding at someone, still without hands on bars. How do you do that?

Dunno, but there's still a place up for grabs on Team Sky. Maybe Dave Brailsford should give this guy a call.

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badbunny [71 posts] 7 years ago
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"resulting in police putting up a barrier"

Tax money well spent  14 did they not have a stinger too? as he was *obviously* endangering life with his "erratic" cycling.

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OldRidgeback [2715 posts] 7 years ago
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More inconsistencies in the prosecution's case appear on rereading this account. The barrier was put up by the police to stop the cyclist after the incident when he was stopped by the shop owner who used two hands. But when the cyclist returned he rode past the barrier. He was then detained when he returned 90 minutes later. So there were two incidents then? Or were there three?

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vorsprung [282 posts] 7 years ago
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Look.

Can't you accept the possibility that the person concerned was riding erratically? Perhaps exceeding 10mph? If there were a lot of people on the Prom then just perhaps maybe he deserved to get stopped.

As for the descriptions of shoving etc. Second hand accounts from journalists are notoriously inaccurate and misleading

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OldRidgeback [2715 posts] 7 years ago
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It's possible that the person was riding erratically. But the information presented here about the events does not add up.

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Muddy Ford [7 posts] 7 years ago
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We now have serious crime in the Bournemouth: murder, rape, burglary, cyclists doing more than 10mph etc. Its a good job the officials know which crimes to divert their resources to else the towns valuable tourist industry would be affected. Personally I think the accounts from the manager and the officer sound like something those 1950's speeches about Rock music. I expect the cyclist will also have to pay for the severe mental trauma he inflicted upon them, they won't be able to look at bicycle without going into relapse. Lucky hanging isnt still an option else the mob would have lynched him by now.