A female motorist from South Wales has been found guilty of dangerous driving after aiming her car at a cyclist, leaving him injured and his bike a write-off, following a road rage incident that began with a plastic bottle being thrown out of the car involved and striking the rider.
The incident took place on the A48 Swansea Road in Pontlliw on Monday 15 August last year as Gary Marshall was out on a bike ride with his wife, Debbie when he was passed by a car being driven by Victoria Elizabeth Williams of Lower Brynamman which also contained her husband and children, reports This Is South Wales.
During the trial at Swansea Crown Court, the prosecution maintained that the driver, who had pleaded guilty to careless driving but not guilty to the more serious charge of dangerous driving, had used her vehicle, a Volvo 440, as a weapon. The jury found her guilty by a unanimous verdict.
The court heard that Mr Marshall and his wife were riding along the road when they were overtaken by Mrs Williams’ vehicle from which a plastic bottle was thrown, striking Mr Marshall on the arm.
Mr Williams made a gesture and swore, asking, “What are you playing at?" The car then stopped and Mrs Williams husband got out, the two men exchanging words.
"I wanted to know why he had thrown a bottle at me," explained Mr Marshall, adding that he rode off after his wife had told him, "He's not worth it." Riding past the car, he told Mrs Williams, "You're as bad as he is."
Once he had ridden around 20 feet past the Volvo, he heard the car approaching and turned around, whereupon he was hit by it and knocked off his bike, ending up beneath the front of the vehicle.
"Before I knew it, half of my body, up to my waist, was underneath the car," he explained. "I was in a state of complete and utter shock and disbelief."
The cyclist suffered injuries to his knees, arm and side and his bike was written off.
Following her arrest, Mrs Williams said that she had meant to give Mr Marshall a fright but not injure him, saying that he had used swear words in front of her children.
In court, she insisted that when the cyclist braked, there was insufficient space for her to stop, that striking him had not been intentional and that her vehicle had not been used as a weapon.
After the jury returned its guilty verdict, Mrs Williams was bailed while pre-sentencing reports are compiled.
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.