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Incident happened in Angmering, West Sussex in May

 

A driver who “used his vehicle like a weapon” to force a cyclist off the road in West Sussex, causing injuries to his hand, has been banned from driving for six months.

The rider, Howard Crompton, uploaded footage of the incident after the motorist, who also received seven points on his licence and was fined a total of £690, was convicted of careless driving.

The incident happened in May as Mr Crompton was finishing a ride in Angmering, near Worthing.

A couple of minutes after the driver of a black Mercedes 4x4 had attempted a failed overtake, he caught up with the cyclist on a short hill.

With his horn blaring as he approached the cyclist from behind, the driver cut across him, forcing him into a wall and drove off without stopping.

Mr Crompton, who captured front- and rear-facing footage of the incident, told road.cc that initially he felt “gobsmacked” at his experience which left him “shaken.”

He said: “I was gobsmacked it happened at first within the first few minutes.

“Once I was home and I had the call to 999 I was left shaken.

“I was really upset by it as I thought about it. If the wall/bush wasn't there then who knows where I would have ended up.

“My right hand was trapped on my handlebars by the passenger side so I had bruising on my hands for a few days.

“It really bothered me and still does as i never knew if I'd see him again driving around,” he added.

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.

36 comments

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LarryDavidJr [359 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

It's something about that end of the county.  Once you hit Worthing heading west, its cockwomble central along the coast for about the next 20 miles.

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CygnusX1 [537 posts] 1 week ago
25 likes

That's not careless - that is taking great care to DELIBERATELY run somebody off the road.

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BarryBianchi [346 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Surely "Angering, West Sussex"?

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brooksby [2588 posts] 1 week ago
10 likes

Wow - that is really horrendous!  And, as Cygnus says - in what way was that careless driving?  The Mercedes driver knows exactly what they're doing (the front camera shows how they did practically stop, to make sure the cyclist has been "taught a lesson (my interpretation), before they then head off).  Absolutely disgusting.

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Dr_Lex [455 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes

Perhaps someone could tweet Mr Crompton - https://mobile.twitter.com/cromptonhoward?lang=en - and get the name of the convicted driver, so as to warn other Sussex riders?

Does seem a light charge, given the footage, and the article and video suggest that it wasn’t a plea bargain, either. CPS not trying?

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Bluebug [119 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes
Dr_Lex wrote:

Perhaps someone could tweet Mr Crompton - https://mobile.twitter.com/cromptonhoward?lang=en - and get the name of the convicted driver, so as to warn other Sussex riders?

Does seem a light charge, given the footage, and the article and video suggest that it wasn’t a plea bargain, either. CPS not trying?

CPS definitely not trying - they knew they could get a conviction for careless driving so didn't try for dangerous.

I hope Mr Crompton sues the driver for damages in a civil court  now the criminal case is over.  He's got 3 years to.

 

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Grahamd [677 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Whilst I am sure every cyclist will consider the sentence inadequate, it is better than many others. Perhaps the tide is beginning to turn.

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racyrich [300 posts] 1 week ago
19 likes

'used his vehicle like a weapon'

So why not charged as though he'd used a weapon. It's pretty simple.

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Richard D [97 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

Little point in taking dangerous driving to trial.  The jury would acquit - they almost always do.  The sun was in the driver's eyes, and the cyclist deserved it because someone , somewhere once jumped a red light without paying road tax.

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DrG82 [161 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

That cyclist did very well not to have lashed out and at a minimum put a good dent in the rear quater pannel of that merc.

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Geraldaut [34 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

Ah, those dash cam videos  from Russia never get old. Luckily this never happens in Western Europe right?

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burtthebike [1125 posts] 1 week ago
14 likes

That behaviour isn't careless driving or even dangerous driving, it is an assault with a deadly weapon.  Banned for six months?  Anyone who uses their vehicle as a weapon is clearly not fit to drive, and should be banned for life, after a suitable time in the jail of our choice to reflect on his complete cretinous stupidity.

Sorry, I forgot; he's a driver, so normal punishments for attacking someone with a deadly weapon don't apply.  I can't wait for the government inquiry into the safety of cyclists.

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wellsprop [388 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

At least there was a charge I guess...

But I'm pretty sure that driving was something more than careless.

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ChrisB200SX [518 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

Wow - that is really horrendous!  And, as Cygnus says - in what way was that careless driving?  The Mercedes driver knows exactly what they're doing (the front camera shows how they did practically stop, to make sure the cyclist has been "taught a lesson (my interpretation), before they then head off).  Absolutely disgusting.

Using a vehicle as a weapon and connecting with someone is Assault. CPS could have recommended both charges?!

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Ramuz [309 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Any chance of the name and street of the offender? Why are these sometimes revealed and sometimes not?

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Eton Rifle [21 posts] 1 week ago
6 likes
racyrich wrote:

'used his vehicle like a weapon'

So why not charged as though he'd used a weapon. It's pretty simple.

Extraordinary, isn't it? Use a baseball bat to attack someone and you're in jail. Use a one tonne steel vehicle capable of speeds in excess of 100mph and inflicting far, far greater injuries and it's "Oh OK, off you go".

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burtthebike [1125 posts] 1 week ago
7 likes
Ramuz wrote:

Any chance of the name and street of the offender? Why are these sometimes revealed and sometimes not?

Probably to prevent irate cyclists from venting their spleen by pouring paint stripper over the car, or puncturing the tyres or other petty vengeful acts. 

Do keep us informed if you find out.

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don simon [1325 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

Wow - that is really horrendous!  And, as Cygnus says - in what way was that careless driving?  The Mercedes driver knows exactly what they're doing (the front camera shows how they did practically stop, to make sure the cyclist has been "taught a lesson (my interpretation), before they then head off).  Absolutely disgusting.

Head off back to the original route after this little diversion?

 

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mikeymustard [8 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
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mikeymustard [8 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

And this (among many) https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/feb/17/driver-jailed-bus-weapon-cyclist

so where's the sentencing parity?

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BehindTheBikesheds [738 posts] 1 week ago
5 likes

more disgusting sentencing, totally inappropriate, the CPS are a bunch of weak as piss cretins and only serve to make this kind of thing a minor incident when it's clearly a ABH assault.

it's this type of 'justice' that ends up with vigilante retribution.

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brooksby [2588 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
don simon wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Wow - that is really horrendous!  And, as Cygnus says - in what way was that careless driving?  The Mercedes driver knows exactly what they're doing (the front camera shows how they did practically stop, to make sure the cyclist has been "taught a lesson (my interpretation), before they then head off).  Absolutely disgusting.

Head off back to the original route after this little diversion?

 

Makes you wonder. The SUV carelessly follows the cyclist (and must have been really looking out for them, too, as they'd gone a long way ahead), then carelessly runs the cyclist up against the wall, pauses to check whether or not they're dead, then does the automotive version of walking away, hands in pockets, whistling a little tune. Mad: how the f was all that just "careless driving "? Makes my blood boil...!

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Awavey [334 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

its not the sentencing thats at fault, six month ban,7 points and £690 fine is near the very top end for "careless driving", which shows the process believed it was more than some mere average carelessness , its that the CPS chose not to pursue a more serious charge, ie dangerous driving or/+ assault, to ensure they got the conviction.

Dangerous driving could have ended up in crown court in front of a jury, would a jury of mostly motorists convict on that video evidence alone ? probably not, {motorist mode} the cyclist clearly barged pass all those patiently queuing cars to jump ahead of them whilst not even being on the road we pay for properly at all!! its their own fault{/motorist mode}

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SNS1938 [121 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Assult, plain and simple, that is assult. If he's pushed someone into a wall whilst holding a cricket bat, it's assult, so why not with a car?

Full credit to the cyclist for having both cameras fitted and working, good work sir!! I have been waiting to get cameras once I work out what sort of riding I'll be doing in a new house/city, and it turns out it's all mountain biking ... so no longer planning on cameras. But definitely if I'm on the road or commuting, I'll have front and rear cameras too.

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Yorkshire wallet [1444 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

The careless driving penalty was for only inflicting minor injury. Anything more serious and he would have got off with nothing. 

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Alessandro [153 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

Name and shame this bellend.

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tsarouxaz [82 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

what is it with SUV drivers? what do they think they are?

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LastBoyScout [295 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
tsarouxaz wrote:

what is it with some SUV drivers? what do they think they are?

Fixed that for you - we have an SUV and I don't drive it like that!

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don simon [1325 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
tsarouxaz wrote:

what is it with SUV drivers? what do they think they are?

Probably suffer from the same as those RLJing cyclists!

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craigstitt [76 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

WTF.... how can a premeditated attack be careless?

Carless is pulling out of a junction without looking properly or something of that ilk.

Following a cyclist for a few minutes, with the sole intention of blaring your horn at them to intimidate them, then force them off the road...... is dangerous at minimum.  I would imagine if the cyclist had more injuries than a bruised hand the CPS may have pressed for a higher level of conviction.  Still doesn't make it right

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