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Oxford man admits getting a bit irate

A former HGV driver has pleaded guilty to committing a public order offence, but told a court in Oxford that he was angry because he had been knocked off his bike by a bus.

Robert Lee, 33, admitted using threatening abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, reports the Oxford Mail.

The court heard that Mr Lee approached and shouted at a female bus driver at the Water Eaton park-and-ride site on July 25.

Defending himself, Mr Lee said he was sorry for his behaviour but had been knocked off his bike by the bus when the driver tried to fit through a tight gap.

Lee said: “I tried to talk to her and she said she didn’t care and to report her.

“It was quite a serious thing to happen to me and it shook me up.

“I complained to the company and the bus driver was sacked, but she got her job back on appeal.

“She got a second chance so I’m just asking for one for me. I sincerely apologise to everyone.”

District Judge Tim Pattinson handed Mr Lee a conditional six month discharge. He was ordered to pay £35 costs and a £15 victims’ surcharge.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

28 comments

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Argos74 [387 posts] 2 years ago
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Time to put my helmet on again. I may be beating my head against the desk for some time.

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lookmanohands [119 posts] 2 years ago
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 13

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Metjas [362 posts] 2 years ago
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not much detail to go by. Who brought the charge of threatening behaviour? What about the original incident of knocking the cyclist of his bike - did the police get involved?

Seems hard to fathom though that after you get knocked off by a bus, you'd end up being done for the effect of adrenaline?

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VeloPeo [301 posts] 2 years ago
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Few years ago I had to stop a guy getting arrested who'd just been clipped onto the pavement by an Ambulance minibus who was driving like an idiot. It had almost done the same to me 1/2 mile up the road.

He got up and smacked the passenger side of the minibus (which had no passengers in) with an open hand and started (rightly) giving the driver a mouthful. He hadn't seen the Police car approach from behind. Plod hadn't seen him knocked off and had him in handcuffs before he knew what was happening which made an irate bloke even more irate. Fortunately I managed to talk them out of nicking him properly but it took good 20 mins to sort out.

Driver got off with a minor telling off - didn't think to note down his reg plate to make a more formal complaint.

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Ush [653 posts] 2 years ago
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What does it mean that he had a discharge? Does that mean he now has it on his record?

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 2 years ago
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Ush wrote:

What does it mean that he had a discharge? Does that mean he now has it on his record?

It was a conditional rather than absolute discharge (I've added "conditional" in to clarify that) but in both cases they lead to a criminal record: http://www.cps.gov.uk/victims_witnesses/going_to_court/sentencing.html

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horizontal dropout [266 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't get this. A bus driver knocked a cyclist off his bike and the rider got done for yelling abuse at the driver? Perhaps separately she was fined for driving without due care and attention but it hasn't been reported here. Yes that must be it. Phew, for a minute there I thought there might be an imbalance in our justice system.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Another classic example of bias, the driver appears to show no remorse and appears to not be able to do her job and some classic bias reporting.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 2 years ago
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Wrong approach. What he should have done is get further up along the bus route, stashed the bike and lid, hailed the bus, got on and then let rip at the driver in front of all the passengers. Bus drivers tend to be a lot less cocky then.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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I wouldn't have apologised, he should have taken it to the police, she has got away scot free with hitting a human being, deliberate or not, she and the bus company must be laughing their heads off at this, sort your own "justice".

Don't expect any help from anyone if you get hit is what this proves.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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In any altercation where your life is at risk - or you feel it is - you go through some biological stages in your response, which aren't always the most helpful.

Personally, i immediately get angry, followed by wobbly trembling-legged fear. Maybe that happened here.

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dbb [34 posts] 2 years ago
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there must be more to this story - it just doesn't make sense as is.

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StantheVoice [93 posts] 2 years ago
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"she and the bus company must be laughing their heads off at this".

Do you seriously believe this?

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60kg lean keen ... [69 posts] 2 years ago
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When is the non cycling public and those that judge us legally going to realise that cycling is not in a sedimentary activity! They are not sitting down warm and dry listing to radio 2, because of the amount of physical activity that they are engaged in and the threat that they are under, being total at the mercy of the traffic as they are the most vulnerable road user bar none (pedestrians only should be crossing and have safe places like pavements to walk on!) they will some times get a bit cross!! The law need to change and drivers need to be educated of this fact.

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Chuck [534 posts] 2 years ago
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dbb wrote:

there must be more to this story - it just doesn't make sense as is.

It makes perfect sense.

Guy gets knocked off bike by bus, is understandably hopped up on adrenaline and anger, takes it out on bus driver by shouting at her and banging on bus.

People who buy into culture in which cyclists are asking for it just by daring to be on the road and have no comprehension of how serious knocking people over with big lumps of metal is think he's behaving unreasonably and she isn't. 'Justice' dispensed accordingly.

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racyrich [243 posts] 2 years ago
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60kg lean keen climbing machine wrote:

When is the non cycling public and those that judge us legally going to realise that cycling is not in a sedimentary activity! They are not sitting down warm and dry listing to radio 2, because of the amount of physical activity that they are engaged in and the threat that they are under, being total at the mercy of the traffic as they are the most vulnerable road user bar none (pedestrians only should be crossing and have safe places like pavements to walk on!) they will some times get a bit cross!! The law need to change and drivers need to be educated of this fact.

Sedimentary activity? I'm pretty fat and unfit these days, you could call it sedentary, but I'm a long way from settling into becoming rock.

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OldRidgeback [2589 posts] 2 years ago
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drfabulous0 wrote:

Wrong approach. What he should have done is get further up along the bus route, stashed the bike and lid, hailed the bus, got on and then let rip at the driver in front of all the passengers. Bus drivers tend to be a lot less cocky then.

He'd be even more likely to get a charge against him that way. Buses have video cameras.

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60kg lean keen ... [69 posts] 2 years ago
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Sorry Dyslexia and the dreaded spell checker conspired against me, Ahh!!! Yes I did mean Sedimentary.  21

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700c [859 posts] 2 years ago
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Argos74 wrote:

Time to put my helmet on again. I may be beating my head against the desk for some time.

well, according to many on here you'd be better off not wearing one as there's no evidence it will protect you!

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felixcat [467 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:
Argos74 wrote:

Time to put my helmet on again. I may be beating my head against the desk for some time.

well, according to many on here you'd be better off not wearing one as there's no evidence it will protect you!

Not at all. Banging your head on the desk is within the design parameters.

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BikeBud [204 posts] 2 years ago
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Last winter I nearly got hit by a car. The driver stopped to apologise, and I shouted "that's no ******* use to me when I'm in hospital". Why? Shock and adrenaline I expect. I felt bad about it afterwards, but it was my natural reaction having been in a very dangerous situation.

It doesn't feel like the immediate emotional/psychological effect of the accident on the cyclist was considered.

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zanf [810 posts] 2 years ago
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felixcat wrote:
700c wrote:
Argos74 wrote:

Time to put my helmet on again. I may be beating my head against the desk for some time.

well, according to many on here you'd be better off not wearing one as there's no evidence it will protect you!

Not at all. Banging your head on the desk is within the design parameters.

As long as its not rotational or oblique banging. For complete safety though, a hiviz vest or jacket should also worn.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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Cheap shot and dumbing down of the actual argument to which there are several strands.

Let's start with false assumptions about the relative danger of cycling. According to my office chums cycling is mad because it is insanely dangerous. It isn't. The facts are verifiable it is about as dangerous as being a pedestrian.

But because of the mis-perception you need a helmet to do it safely.

Let's start with risk per participant highest is obviously stuff like skydiving and climbing (not many people do it and some die) Motorsports is about 80 times more dangerous than cycling. But cycling is 40 times safer than angling 5 times safer even than athletics. It's 4 times less dangerous than tennis and just a tad more dangerous than golf.

Other measures of risk might be by the time you spend doing it, fatalities per million Km etc. On any measure it just ain't dangerous or no more so than walking or jogging.

The other side of the coin is the perceived benefit of wearing a helmet. This is massively overemphasised by some because they put a cycle helmet on a par with a motorcycle helmet. I don't say they think it is exactly the same but they think they have similar effect. Most don't realise that cycle helmets are not designed for vehicle accidents but for sport accidents. I wear a helmet when I am mountainbiking because generally I am travelling at quite lowish speeds and may come off. The helmet may protect me a bit in those circumstances and for the same reason some people mya want that little bit of protection on the road. You fall off at less than 12mph and your head hits something round about that speed. We're talking athletics club average speed for 5k running fall over and bang your head speed here. If you want that protection then fill your boots (why not eh?).

The real problem is the compounding of two complete misconceptions and an extreme emotional response to them concerning decisions to wear and not wear a helmet as if not wearing one was like entering the Moto GP wearing flip flops and a tee shirt in it's attitude to risk. People thinking that you are crazy for not wearing a helmet or who advocate their compulsory use quite simply haven't done the proper risk assessment.

So let's summarize.
1 cycling isn't statistically dangerous
2 helmets only offer very marginal protection from some impacts at low speed
3 most cyclist killed on the road are either crushed against or between vehicles and objects or classically hit from behind at speed when not seen. Neither of these are mitigated by a helmet. It won't save you from either of those.

Banging your head on a table is about what it will help with but only if you do it in a straight line. Introduce and angle or any rotation to the impact and you'd be better off without one. Seriously!

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felixcat [467 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree with you oozaveared, but I hoped my light hearted reply would defuse the provocation and avert the threat of another rehashing of the topic.

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oozaveared [936 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks. Maybe I'm reacting to a build up of comments about me not wearing a helmet at work as if I was some kind of thrill seeking loon. I've been cycling on the road (ie keenly as part of a club) since 1972. Helmets back then were for races only (BCF rules) and were either leather baskets or more modern plastic covered furniture foam. You had to wear one to race. The older leather ones were probably not quite as good as a modern one but the plastic foam ones were utterly pointless.

I am still here. No head injuries despite several collisions with cars (over 40 years). Statistically I am due for a fatal accident in 135 more years. I am dreading it!!!

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GoingRoundInCycles [133 posts] 2 years ago
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OK. Man admits using threatening, abusive or insulting language towards a public servant.

Man describes the very upsetting circumstances that led to the incident in question.

The court takes this into consideration when deciding the appropriate penalty, and there has to be one because he is guilty by his own admission.

The court could have chosen to jail him for up to six months and/or fine him up to £1000.

They tell him to go away and be a good boy for six months and no further action will be taken. He doesn't have to pay a fine, merely contribute to the cost of the hearing and pay a token amount to the victim as compensation.

Why have there been 20+ messages whining about this outcome?

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Leviathan [1885 posts] 2 years ago
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60kg lean keen climbing machine wrote:

cycling is not in a sedimentary activity!

Wait a cockle picking minute; you are so right!  21

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Carl [136 posts] 2 years ago
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I despair  20