Home
Court hears aggressor harboured grudge against bike riders prior to random attack on Audax participant

A Norfolk man who harboured a grudge against cyclists has been jailed for 10 months for causing grievous bodily harm after shoulder-barging a rider taking part in an Audax event, the victim suffering a fractured hip. The judge in the case said that the sentence was “a clear message” that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Cyclist Chris Brown, aged 61 and from Aylsham, spent two days in hospital after his hip was fractured when 52-year-old Duncan Smith attacked him on 7 December last year, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

During his sentencing hearing at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, it was revealed that Smith, who had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge, nursed a grudge against cyclists after spending £460 to repair his car’s wing mirror which had been damaged by a bike rider.

On the day he attacked Mr Brown, Smith said his wing mirror had once again been struck by a cyclist, which was playing on his mind as he returned to his home in Lamas and discovered riders in the Audax event passing by.

The court heard that he walked into the road and tried to stop riders to ask which club they were members of. It was told that although he didn’t intend to push Mr Brown from his bike on purpose, he was reckless as to the results of his actions.

The victim needed an operation on his hip, had to take time off work and spent three months getting around with the aid of crutches. He cannot now cycle as much as he used to, has problems sleeping, and it is thought that the fracture to his hip may never fully repair.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Stephen Holt told him: “A clear message must go out that behaviour of this type on a public highway that results in serious injury to an innocent person must lead to immediate custody.”

Representing Smith, Michael Clare said his client had written to Mr Brown to apologise, adding, “He is genuinely remorseful. He told me he was not an unreasonable person but had obviously got it wrong this time.”

Following the hearing, Mr Brown said he remained mystified at the “randomness of the attack.”

He added: “He had been dancing in the middle of the road, acting really strangely, with cyclists going either side of him. As I went to go by him he just shoulder-charged me.”

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.

24 comments

Avatar
rich22222 [163 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I hold a grudge against motorists but don't go around attacking them.

Avatar
Wolfshade [178 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Of course had he been in his car, he would have avoided gaol time.

I am not sure 10 months is a clear message. If we compare this with the victim of this scene who spent 3 months unable to work and move about, he has had at least 6 months of troubled sleep and the fracture may never repair, meaning that his issues sleeping and being unable to cycle the same long distances are with him until he dies, which I am sure is much more than a measley 10 months.

A clear message would have been a maximum 5 year sentence.

Avatar
alexb [120 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Well presumably the doors are open for a civil suit for injury compensation now. Does the perpetrator have third party insurance that would cover him against assault....he'll be lucky to still have a house at the end of this.

Avatar
userfriendly [548 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Michael Clare wrote:

“He is genuinely remorseful. He told me he was not an unreasonable person but had obviously got it wrong this time.”

You lying bullshitter twunt. Or, to use the technical term, lawyer. I'm so sick of the likes of you. Aye, right, your client is a perfectly reasonable person and only this one time, through no fault of his own, got "it" wrong.

If the culprit were at least honest about it, outright stating his prejudices and bizarre justifications for doing what he has done, then there would be an avenue for a decent judge to administrator appropriate measures to educate this pathetic individual.

But yeah, nope ... we're playing along and are going with the "Aww poor you, let's be lenient with you and you promise us not to do it again" approach. Inevitably setting the next cyclist up for an even more rage fuelled encounter with that idiot who's now got an even bigger axe to grind.

Sorry, but this isn't working. Ten months? Try ten years. That will send “a clear message”, if that is indeed what the judge wanted to do.

Avatar
RedfishUK [121 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
userfriendly][quote=Michael Clare wrote:

Sorry, but this isn't working. Ten months? Try ten years. That will send “a clear message”, if that is indeed what the judge wanted to do.

Tough one, 10 months is probably in line with what someone would get if they punched a passer by unprovoked on a Saturday night out.
Also he pleaded guilty so would have gained an automatic reduction in his sentence

Avatar
jacknorell [957 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I wonder about what type of driving the guy had displayed as his wing mirror seems to be very accident prone?

Driving very close, maybe?

And as Wolfshade said, the sentence for the victim is much more than 10 months, it's possibly a lifetime of reduced physical health.

Avatar
AWPeleton [3266 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Pathetic sentence if you ask me, the poor lad who had his hip broken will no doubt be in agony for years to come once arthritis sets in, which is inevitable at his age.

Yet again the courts let us down.

Avatar
MKultra [396 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The irony is that he got done for GBH because he got out and had a go. If he had used his car as a weapon to run the lad off the road he probably would have got away with a driving offence.

Avatar
mrmo [2064 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

cyclist hit wing mirror, or driver couldn't be arsed to overtake and hit cyclist with wing mirror?

I wonder which Is true?

Avatar
chadders [84 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sound like the aggressor picked his mark, lots of young fit looking cyclists pass him then he spots a 60 odd year old cyclist and thinks easy prey, total shit bag.

Avatar
Smash [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I can personally vouch for the aggression shown towards cyclists in the Norfolk region being a born and bred bumpkin.. Considering the locale and the generally laid back atmosphere that our part of the country displays it's a wonder there aren't considerably more cases like this. just the other day I was harangued by a motorist after quite legitimately passing him kerbside over a mini roundabout which resulted in him scaring the crap out of me by leaning on his horn, he then proceeded overtake me at speed to pull as tightly into the kerb as possible to prevent me passing him again at the next mini roundabout.. Needless to say we had words none of them pleasant..

Avatar
Housecathst [419 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Let's hope he has a really dreadful time in prison

Avatar
PhilRuss [370 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I can personally vouch for the aggression shown towards cyclists in the Norfolk region....../quote]
[[[[[ My wife and I did a week's touring in Norfolk some years ago, and I must say the drivers we encountered there were amazingly considerate and friendly, gently tooting before passing us, and offering a cheery wave as they did so. Oh no....I just remembered! It was Suffolk.

Avatar
leqin [162 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
MKultra wrote:

The irony is that he got done for GBH because he got out and had a go. If he had used his car as a weapon to run the lad off the road he probably would have got away without a driving offence.

corrected that for you inline with the incredible leniency our fine courts show towards bad drivers.

Avatar
ronin [263 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I mean come on, you're minding your own business and someone does this to you, and the perpetrator only get's 10 months?

These injuries are life changing for anyone (OK we are not talking loss of limbs or a faculty), but for a cyclist more so, on account of the active lifestyle. I get a little crazy if I don't go cycling every so often, and if something was preventing me like an injury that was caused by someone's grievous intent, it would be hard to come to terms with to say the least.

Avatar
oldstrath [565 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

460 pounds seems excessive for a bit of glass - maybe he should just drive a cheaper car, and take more care overtaking and parking (or better, stop driving, since he's clearly not fit to drive). As for his lawyer's pathetic attempt to defend him - wouldn't it be nice if they got punished for being lying toerags as well.

Avatar
choddo [38 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Any kind of jail term (and associated criminal record) has a dramatic impact on the perp. He would have been desperately trying to avoid a custodial. I think it's a good outcome.

Avatar
PJ McNally [591 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

He should have stayed in the car; I sincerely doubt he'd have received a custodial sentence f he'd driven into his victim instead of shouldering him.

Avatar
Critchio [175 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Clear message? That sentence is a joke. Sounds like the conviction is not for GBH with intent but for the lesser GBH offence which carries the same sentence as ABH.... but still, that should of been a 3 year sentence at least. We must always take into account that unless its Murder the offender will always only serve half their sentence and a lot of times much less than half. This guy will be out in less than 5 months.

10 months is an insult to the victim and reinforces to us all that the British Justice System is a fucking disgrace.

Avatar
Whitters1986 [6 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Looking at the guidelines this is a little bit low but not horrendously so. With a starting point of 18 months he would have got 1/3 off for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity so would have been looking at a year or so.

In many respects it is amazing he wasn't given a suspended sentence so at least that is something.

Hope the rider involved makes a better than expected recovery.

Avatar
oldstrath [565 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
choddo wrote:

Any kind of jail term (and associated criminal record) has a dramatic impact on the perp. He would have been desperately trying to avoid a custodial. I think it's a good outcome.

Shame he didn't try a bit more desperately to avoid doing serious harm to an innocent person. I doubt the impact on him will be as severe as the impact on his victim.

Avatar
PhilRuss [370 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
oldstrath wrote:

460 pounds seems excessive for a bit of glass - maybe he should just drive a cheaper car....

[[[[[ I got a perfectly good wing-mirror for £20....methinks the geezer's being economical with the truth, to the tune of probably £400.
P.R.

Avatar
EnglishmanAbroad [45 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Depends what sort of mirror it is. Electrically adjusted, folding heated mirrors plus fitting your looking at about £400 at a main dealer.

Avatar
drfabulous0 [409 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
EnglishmanAbroad wrote:

Depends what sort of mirror it is. Electrically adjusted, folding heated mirrors plus fitting your looking at about £400 at a main dealer.

That's a first world problem if ever I heard one.