Yorkshire cyclist convicted of assault on van driver after court rejects self-defence claim

Rider told court van driver had driven too close and bit him when he complained

by Simon_MacMichael   April 11, 2013  

Justice (Lonpicman, Wikimedia Commons)

A Yorkshire cyclist has been convicted of assault after magistrates rejected his claim that he was acting in self defence during an altercation with a van driver whom he said had passed too close to him while he was out riding.

Christopher Alan Wade, aged 48 and from Keighley, told the court that after he had banged the side of the van due to it being too close to him as he rode along Keighley Road in Skipton on 9 November last year, reports the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.

He said that the driver, Jeffrey Walker, had then bitten him on the hand, but the magistrates rejected the cyclist’s claim that he had acted in self-defence in striking the van driver.

Alistair Geldhardt, a friend and Wade and also a cyclist, described him as a “gentleman” and told the court of his support for the Dave Rayner Fund, which since 1996 has helped fund aspiring riders including many who have gone on to succesful pro careers including David Millar, Russ Downing, Emma Trott and Dani King.

The magistrates fined Wade £400 and he was also told to pay £100 compensation to Mr Walker as well as £300 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £40.

14 user comments

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£850 quid, wow, you get lass than that for killing cyclists.

antonio

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posted by antonio [898 posts]
11th April 2013 - 16:32

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Smart. Though obviously lacking full details.

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posted by bikeandy61 [361 posts]
11th April 2013 - 17:11

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Yeah want full details as it sounds dodgy.

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posted by koko56 [298 posts]
11th April 2013 - 18:21

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Suspect there is a lot more to this story.

I hope so because the facts presented throw a very poor light on the justice system.

posted by Cranky Acid [24 posts]
12th April 2013 - 8:49

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It seems it was agreed in court that Chris banged on the side of the van. If a vehicle is so close the cyclist can touch it that is too close. The driver did not have to stop, unless he thought he had hit the cyclist, which is possible, but a more likely scenario is the driver stopped to unleash a little road rage on the cyclist. Instead as often happens in these cases he finds he is facing a somewhat fit athlete, all pumped up with adrenaline because he just had a near death experience, and as a result driver gets a kicking. As already pointed out, had the van hit the cyclist and killed him his fine would probably be less than 840 quid.

Dave Moulton exframebuilder

posted by Dave Moulton [1 posts]
12th April 2013 - 16:21

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Wait, the driver bit his hand? Isn't this assault too?

posted by Mr. Rossi [37 posts]
12th April 2013 - 16:29

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Depends whether the driver's mouth was moving in on his fist, or the other way about!

ChrisS

posted by Chris S [41 posts]
12th April 2013 - 16:48

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Seems to me you can't win. Best you can do is buy a helmet camera and record everything that happens ... but, however big, brave and fearless you are, just don't get involved in a toe to toe situation. At £850 it just ain't worth it, but ... is it ever worth it?

As the rider you can't win. You're very vulnerable in your cleats, you need witnesses to support your case - and most people aren't interested - and if you end up in court you're up against the sleaziest b'stards that were ever put on the planet. These "legal suits" have a job - and it's to make you look stupid. And they are very, very good at it. How they sleep at night, christ alone knows, but if they can get a felon off the hook, that's what they do.

Camera the action - if you can - then ride away and report it. Sounds cowardly, I know, and not what any of us ever wants to do, but at £850 right on the nose - and all the aggro that goes with it - you've got to ask yourself ... what is the point of doing anything else? Be smarter than they are and don't let 'em win.

posted by comm88 [67 posts]
12th April 2013 - 17:04

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"It seems it was agreed in court that Chris banged on the side of the van. If a vehicle is so close the cyclist can touch it that is too close. The driver did not have to stop, unless he thought he had hit the cyclist, which is possible, but a more likely scenario is the driver stopped to unleash a little road rage on the cyclist. Instead as often happens in these cases he finds he is facing a somewhat fit athlete, all pumped up with adrenaline because he just had a near death experience, and as a result driver gets a kicking. As already pointed out, had the van hit the cyclist and killed him his fine would probably be less than 840 quid."

Exactly. As a cyclist, being third class scum, you cannot win.

You MUST allow people to threaten you with death and do NOTHING about it.

posted by Animal [33 posts]
12th April 2013 - 19:02

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And recording things does NO GOOD AT ALL.

The police DO NOT GIVE A SHIT if third class scum get threatened.

I bought an HD camera, and it made no difference at all.

It would be better if I bought a gun.

posted by Animal [33 posts]
12th April 2013 - 19:03

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There's now a local report with a bit more detail here:

http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/10349601.Cyclist_found_guilty_of_assa...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7470 posts]
12th April 2013 - 19:17

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I sympathise with every rider's frustration expressed here - I honestly do ... but we are obliged as riders, it seems, not only to take care of ourselves - and ride to stay alive! - but to mindfully take care of the many ignorant assholes that sit behind the wheel of 2 tons of killing machine - and you're all right in what you say ... drivers rarely give a flying fk for the cyclist. That said, when I got brought down by a dog - a lady motorist and her two children (bless!) and a police care with 2 pc's could not have done more to ensure that I was okay. They were totally BRILLIANT!!

As ever .... it isn't everyone - it's just a few - and they would be assholes in ANY situation.

Btw, I thought a law had been passed that drivers could be prosecuted for passing too close to a cyclist under the Dangerous Driving Act?

posted by comm88 [67 posts]
13th April 2013 - 14:21

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Those of you that know of the " Cyclingsilk.blog " will be reading his latest letter to the " DPP "!:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzho2RYpC3VuZWZnenN3LUFwVmc/edit

Daily commute by Martin Porter wearing a camera , tends to become a battle with the CPS , to accept the footage recorded , as evidence of " Lethal Bullying behaviour by drivers encased in ton of metalwork !

When a " Practicing Lawyer cannot get the Legal System to see his views of the outrageous , what chance do we simpletons have with those that think OUR WELFARE , counts for nought ?

Meanwhile i will continue to try to find a way to consign phat mc splat to an ignomineous footnote in UCI History !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [372 posts]
13th April 2013 - 20:52

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it seems to me that to do the right thing by yourself ie. self defence and the aquiring of some sort of justice, you have to do the wrong things in the eyes of the law. Shame it is like this but I have now formed the opinion that the police are anti-cyclist and a s such will not assist so as a matter of course I take matters into my own hands.

tired old fart

posted by tired old fart [79 posts]
18th April 2013 - 12:10

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