Cambridge pensioner guilty of assault after tipping dog excrement over cyclist

Court hears that former civil servant harboured grudge against bike riders

by Simon_MacMichael   November 11, 2013  

Justice (Lonpicman, Wikimedia Commons)

A pensioner in Cambridge has been convicted of assault after she tipped a bag of dog excrement over a cyclist whom she claimed had ridden too close to her on a shared use path at Trumpington. A number of people commenting on a local newspaper report of the case say the woman concerned has a regular history of abusing cyclists - though it seems that it is this specific incident that prompted authorities to take action.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard that 75-year-old Susan Currall, a retired civil servant who once worked at the British embassy in Washington DC, had issues with cyclists speeding on the path, reports Cambridge News.

The victim, 40-year-old American citizen Michael Ramage, a senior lecturer in architecture at the University of Cambridge, said he feared meeting fellow Trumpington resident Currall while cycling after several prior encounters with her, including while riding with his children.

In the incident that gave rise to the court case, Currall swung a plastic bag containing her pet dog’s faeces at Mr Ramage then allowed its contents to tip over him – something he described as a “pretty unpleasant” experience.

The pensioner, who pleaded guilty to assault by beating, was given a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay Mr Curran £25 compensation. Currall, who had been cautioned for common assault and criminal damage in 2007, also has to pay £100 costs.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Ramage revealed that after the attack Currall told the cyclist to “go cry to your mummy” and called him a “big bully.”

Following the hearing, Mr Ramage said: “I would not change my route, but I do go down there with a lot of trepidation.

“I’m not physically intimidated, I know I won’t suffer any serious injury, but the mental anguish with having to deal with an encounter, that’s what it’s really all about. I have encountered her with my kids and it’s upsetting for them.”

Referring to the sentence imposed on Currall, he said: “Hopefully it will mean something to her and change her behaviour so I think I’m happy from that point of view.”

Speaking in mitigation of her client, solicitor Monica Lentin had said that Currall “felt anxious” due to cyclists riding too quickly and that Mr Ramage had “provoked” her by passing by too close to her.

“These young people come hurtling towards her [Currall] and they do not give way to her.

“She did not see him [Mr Ramage] coming in the opposite direction and he was not stopping for her which certainly in the olden days, a man on a bike would have got off and let her through.”

However, several comments to the Cambridge News story suggest that it was not an isolated incident and that Mr Ramage was far from the first cyclist targeted for abuse by Currall.

One, from site user Wookey, claimed she had regularly harassed cyclists on the path:

This woman has been blocking the shared-use path past Trumpington allotments for years, and haranguing cyclists, and has been cautioned before because of it. Recently the signage was changed to make the status of this path clear, and at least give hassled cyclists something official to point to…

I expect it ended up in court because this chap got fed up of abuse (and eventually ****-flinging) on his way to work. Yes that would be excessive for a one-off, but not a pattern over years. She may not like the fact that this path has been designated shared-use, and we'd all like it to be wider, like so many other places, but trying to harass users by incorrectly telling them they are not allowed there is not the way to improve matters.”

Another comment, from MHSBWT, detailed claims that Currall had subjected children riding on the path to verbal abuse:

My childrens (twin boys) first experience of this woman's unstable mental health was when they were 7 years old, when she verbally assaulted them as they were very courteously cycling past her, I was with them (they are now nearly 13). Since then there have been many other instances, including Ms Currall stepping in front of one of them whilst he was ON THE CYCLE LANE, cycling down the bridge on Shelford Road, Trumpington, fortunately my son was alert enough to swerve to avoid collision, again I witnessed this myself. The residents of Trumpington have been putting up with this behavior for a long time. Most children who take that route to school are told to avoid her. This is also not the first time she has physically assaulted someone. She has gone too far! It surprised us all that she had a bag of dog poo with her because again for years she has been seen to leave her dogs poo on the pavements. This is not about bullying a pensioner.

Mr Ramage’s wife also posted a comment, under the name Akramage, in which she said:

My husband was the one hit with the bag of poo. This woman is a total nuisance in the community and terrorizes anyone on a bike who crosses her path, including children. Even if people slow down when passing her, she will block the path with an angry scowl, aggressive speech and sometimes force (she has been known to hit bikers with her hands and once even with a stick). Let's hope she's learned her lesson. Only time will tell....

 

25 user comments

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Trumpington? Rolling On The Floor

posted by JeevesBath [69 posts]
11th November 2013 - 17:22

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JeevesBath wrote:
Trumpington? Rolling On The Floor

Yes, very good; and pleasing to small minds!

posted by Mostyn [387 posts]
11th November 2013 - 17:49

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Some people Eh? As an old ager myself (pensioner) cannot understand why these people don't control their anguish and attitude towards other people. Age does not give anyone a right to abuse others.

posted by Mostyn [387 posts]
11th November 2013 - 17:52

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On the plus side, hopefully the old bag won't be around for much longer.

What a horrid woman.

posted by allez neg [411 posts]
11th November 2013 - 18:05

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Another reason to avoid people, I mean shared paths!

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [329 posts]
11th November 2013 - 18:48

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It just goes to show you never can tell. It annoys me how people let their fears overwhelm them.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [978 posts]
11th November 2013 - 18:52

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If this is the kind of person working for the british diplomatic service it does go a long way in explaining why the country seems so incapable of avoiding getting into wars.

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [87 posts]
11th November 2013 - 19:19

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sm wrote:
Another reason to avoid people, I mean shared paths!

Apart from the occasional crazy, and the overhanging undergrowth, the busway path does provide a good route- shorter for some destinations- into central-ish Cambridge, with the bonus of being well away from cars and with the only buses confined to a concrete channel

posted by Al__S [423 posts]
11th November 2013 - 22:45

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Sounds like she needs some help for a mental illness, rather than a court appearance.

I'm not the one who had shit flung at me, though...

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [210 posts]
11th November 2013 - 23:07

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It's dungbelievable - she must be a cyclopath*

*loosely based on Cambridge News comments...

posted by Metjas [244 posts]
11th November 2013 - 23:16

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Mostyn wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
Trumpington? Rolling On The Floor

Yes, very good; and pleasing to small minds!

Appealed to my inner Bart Simpson. Seriously, you can't make this sh1t up...

posted by JeevesBath [69 posts]
12th November 2013 - 8:49

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Al__S wrote:

Apart from the occasional crazy, and the overhanging undergrowth, the busway path does provide a good route- shorter for some destinations- into central-ish Cambridge, with the bonus of being well away from cars and with the only buses confined to a concrete channel

Surely only shorter for Trumpington? Otherwise, last time I visited, Hills Road had good cycle lanes and none of the undergrowth, flooding, blind bends into an underpass and non flat kerbs of the busway.

posted by a.jumper [657 posts]
12th November 2013 - 9:13

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what disgusting behaviour, stupid old cow

posted by Karbon Kev [653 posts]
12th November 2013 - 9:29

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She's a nutter with form for a previous assault on a neighbour.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [1963 posts]
12th November 2013 - 9:50

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£25 plus costs?... for such an outrageous thing to do I think she's having the last laugh. I'm sorry, but f I was on the receiving end she'd be forced to eat her words along the filthy contents of the bag, what a dirty woman, lock her up

posted by caaad10 [91 posts]
12th November 2013 - 10:22

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I suspect it is because she is a sad case. Looks more like mental illness than criminal intent. It must be awful to be that angry all the time. If I read the other comments it would appear that the signs have been there for a long time and this is just the final manifestation of a long running problem.

Ride more, ride better

posted by Sniffer [119 posts]
12th November 2013 - 10:41

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imagine if it was a younger person throwing the crap at a pensioner, it would have been a massive fine or a custodial sentence At Wits End

posted by jason.timothy.jones [252 posts]
12th November 2013 - 10:43

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Perhaps get a restraining order on her or the equivalent that forbids her from going near that cyclepath.

posted by CameronB [10 posts]
12th November 2013 - 11:51

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Go Dutch and get a bag of shite over you... No thanks.

posted by Leodis [125 posts]
12th November 2013 - 12:18

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Wibble Silly

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [134 posts]
12th November 2013 - 18:25

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I work with people suffering from mental disorder. It is depressing to read the same old stereotypes and myths about mental illness illustrated above. Do any of you have any evidence this person is mentally unwell? Is mental illness always synonymous with anti social, aggressive behaviour? ( clue: the answer is NO).

Neither the Judge hearing the case nor her own defence offered mental illness in mitigation but I guess they are both less knowledgeable than you who have claimed she must be mad.

Is she ill or is it more likely that she simply hates cyclists?
Let us be clear, her behaviour was a crime based on that belief. That does not make her mentally ill.

So grow up and treat mental illness and those it afflicts with a bit more respect.

posted by philtregear [71 posts]
12th November 2013 - 19:05

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phil, you have a point - old person + lashing out = mental ill health. NO !

Whilst i dont work with people suffering mental ill health i do go to jobs involving these people. As the article points out she is 75 yrs old and she may have the early stages of dementia which can lead to angry and violent outbursts.

If thats true then its very sad because dementia is anything but pleasant.

If she is all there up top then i have to say what a horrid woman !

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2451 posts]
12th November 2013 - 19:33

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You'd also hope that if she was originally arrested, she'd have been assessed for her fitness to be dealt with by an FME - a doctor, admittedly not a specialist, but a medical practitioner all the same.

If she'd not been arrested and simply reported for summons then she would have had this, but surely the defence legal team would have raised this ( although I chuckled at how the defence alluded that the 40 yr old uni professor was a young man on a powerful bike. How is a bike powerful?)

posted by allez neg [411 posts]
12th November 2013 - 19:53

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Phil, I did make a post referencing mental illness. Maybe I used the term incorrectly and in error. It might have been better to refer to her as a troubled person. While the behaviour is inexcusable and I would not wish to be on the receiving end of anything like it, I do wonder what goes through anybody's mind that seeks out this type of confrontation.

Ride more, ride better

posted by Sniffer [119 posts]
12th November 2013 - 22:29

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Mostyn wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
Trumpington? Rolling On The Floor

Yes, very good; and pleasing to small minds!

I think it's a reference to the place Mostyn. Next village to Camberwick Green? Don't let me stop you jumping in there to admonish fart jokes though...

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [935 posts]
14th November 2013 - 11:18

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