Guilty plea from Edinburgh motorist who left cyclist clinging to bonnet in road rage incident

Court hears how driver repeatedly swerved and braked to try and dislodge bike rider

by Simon_MacMichael   April 4, 2012  

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An Edinburgh motorist has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving following a road rage incident last November, reported widely at the time including here on road.cc, in which he drove aggressively as he tried to shake a cyclist off the bonnet of his car. The driver of the vehicle involved in the incident, 32-year-old Bernard Anderson, will be sentenced next month.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told yesterday by deputy fiscal Isobel Clark, prosecuting, that cyclist Iain Thomson, aged 32, had confronted Anderson on Johnston Terrace and had grabbed hold of his wing mirror, reports STV.

"The cyclist dismounted from his bicycle and was seen by the witnesses lying on the bonnet of the car being driven by the accused,” explained deputy fiscal Isobel Clark, prosecuting.

"The witnesses could see the car swerving from side to side. It was braking sharply in a bid to get Mr Thomson off the car. Mr Thomson was then seen coming off the bonnet of the car and he fell onto the ground. This was seen by witnesses in the street.

"The distance that was driven was about 100 metres and I understand Mr Thomson sustained minor injuries - he had a soft tissue injury to his finger. He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Hospital where he was treated," she added.

While the evidence regarding the central aspect ot the case was backed up by witness statements the events leading up to the initial confrontation between the two men did differ from the account given by Mr Thomson to the media at the time of the incident.

In November, he told The Scotsman that he had been rammed from behind by a Renault Clio on Johnston Terrace following an earlier altercation with the driver, who had not at that point been identified, on their way into the city centre.

Although that version of events seems at variance with STVs report of the court proceedings, it does not of course excuse the driver’s subsequent actions, as he Anderson himself appears to have acknowledged by entering a guilty plea to the charge of dangerous driving.

Sheriff Michael O'Grady QC said that Anderson will be sentenced next month after background reports have been obtained.

7 user comments

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An interesting case indeed.

Angelfishsolo's picture

posted by Angelfishsolo [103 posts]
4th April 2012 - 14:31

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Attempted murder.

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
4th April 2012 - 15:33

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hmmm the plot thickens Thinking can we have an explanation as to how you dismount on to the bonnet, was it his fine gymnastic abilities or was he rammed? again a slap on the wrist is in the offing for the driver here. but why the hell would you get on a bonnet, if that truely is what happened. Confused Confused

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [451 posts]
4th April 2012 - 16:02

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It's one of those, Cidermart, where the one report of the case that we have seen does seem to leave it open as to exactly what happened, which is why we have pointed out in the article that what was said in court does conflict with what the cyclist said immediately following the incident.

According to the STV report, the cyclist confronted the motorist and jumped on the bonnet; according to what the cyclist told The Scotsman in November, the driver rammed him from behind. We've linked both those reports in the article, but as we say, there is a big difference between them.

If we can find out any more details of what was said at court, we'll update the story. From the STV report, it's not even clear whether the full background to the incident (see our earlier story, linked in the first paragraph) was discussed.

I'd add that we might have got a fuller account from both parties' point of view had Anderson entered a not guilty plea and not, as he did, a guilty one.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7634 posts]
4th April 2012 - 17:06

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Yes Simon I remember reading this and becoming rather annoyed when it came out, I believe they hadn't tracked him down and were after witnesses. I agree it would be nice to hear both sides of the court reports to see if indeed he had been rammed and not some mittyesque story he made up after doing something silly i.e. climbing on a bonnet to threaten someone, I do hope not. As for the guilty plea was that an excuse to cop for a lighter offence of only knocking down a cyclist, rather than a premeditated assault with a vehicle, as it only seems to get a “don’t do it again” from the justice, or lack of, system.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [451 posts]
4th April 2012 - 19:31

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I think it's fairly obvious what happened. The sun was in the driver's eyes so he never saw the cyclist as he fell onto the bonnet, therefore the cyclist must have climbed there, simples.

Manglier's picture

posted by Manglier [66 posts]
5th April 2012 - 8:37

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Well I'm glad the driver was tracked down and this is now in court. It did seem for a while that the police in Edinburgh were struggling to locate the offending driver. Other than that, I expect Manglier's suggestion is the one that will stand up in court.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2036 posts]
5th April 2012 - 9:41

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