A London motorist faces jail after being convicted of assaulting a cyclist in an incident in July last year.
Daniel Watkiss, aged 30 and from Fawcett Estate, Clapton, was also convicted of dangerous driving following the incident on Green Lanes in Stoke Newington, but was cleared of affray, reports courtnews.co.uk.
James Falle was riding his bike in primary position to keep safe due to traffic islands creating pinch points when Watkiss began revving the engine of his BMW X5 4x4 and accelerating behind the rider.
He said that he raised his hand up by instinct and hit the vehicle’s wing mirror then lost control of his bike and fell off. The driver claimed he had damaged the wing mirror and asked him for £50. When Mr Falle refused to pay, Watkiss assaulted him.
“He reached across the bike towards me and tried to put his hands in my pocket,” he told Snaresbrook Crown Court.
“My wallet was in my pocket and I took my hands off my bike and brought them round to knock his hands away in a circulation motion.
“He took a big swing at me with his right fist and hit me either across the helmet or side of my neck or a bit of both.
“The next thing I knew he had grabbed my helmet and pulled me across my bike and into the road.
“The strap on my helmet was strangling me; I couldn't breathe at this stage. I was trying to undo the helmet with one hand but that was impossible while I was still being dragged forward,” he added.
While Watkiss accepted he had shouted at the cyclist, he denied hitting him and claimed his hand had become caught in the helmet’s strap.
His partner, Chantelle Willock, also stood trial on charges of affray and assault but was acquitted.
Watkiss will be sentenced on 7 August.
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.