A former Radio Newcastle DJ has received a six-month ban and a £500 fine after he drove his van at two off-duty policemen on bicycles.
Paul Wappat, 50, was driving on the B1319 in North Tyneside when he passed Ronnie Lowes and David Slade, who were riding two abreast.
Mr Lowes said that Wappat's flatbed van passed within inches of his shoulder causing him to wobble and nearly fall off.
Then, Newcastle Crown Court heard, Wappat stopped and reversed back towards the cyclists.
When one of the officers tried to get close to the van to speak with the driver, he turned right sharply and forced the rider to abandon his bike and jump onto the verge, according to Chronicle News.
Wappat was charged with dangerous driving, but a jury cleared him of the charge and instead found him guilty of the lesser offence of careless driving.
He admitted verbally abusing the cyclists but said he did not drive at them.
He told police: “Maybe I was daft for pulling over and shouting abuse, but there’s no way I would deliberately aim a vehicle at someone.”
Recorder Jeremy Freedman told Wappat: “To my mind this was a very bad piece of driving. You did put the health and safety of those two cyclists at risk.
“The fine is £500. In addition, because I regard this as the most severe example I’ve ever come across of careless driving, there has to be a period of disqualification.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.