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London BMW 4X4 driver faces jail for assault on cyclist

Bike rider was dragged along by helmet strap in attack in Stoke Newington last year

A London motorist faces jail after being convicted of assaulting a cyclist in an incident in July last year.

Daniel Watkiss, aged 30 and from Fawcett Estate, Clapton, was also convicted of dangerous driving following the incident on Green Lanes in Stoke Newington, but was cleared of affray, reports courtnews.co.uk.

James Falle was riding his bike in primary position to keep safe due to traffic islands creating pinch points when Watkiss began revving the engine of his BMW X5 4x4 and accelerating behind the rider.

He said that he raised his hand up by instinct and hit the vehicle’s wing mirror then lost control of his bike and fell off. The driver claimed he had damaged the wing mirror and asked him for £50. When Mr Falle refused to pay, Watkiss assaulted him.

“He reached across the bike towards me and tried to put his hands in my pocket,” he told Snaresbrook Crown Court.

“My wallet was in my pocket and I took my hands off my bike and brought them round to knock his hands away in a circulation motion.

“He took a big swing at me with his right fist and hit me either across the helmet or side of my neck or a bit of both.

“The next thing I knew he had grabbed my helmet and pulled me across my bike and into the road.

“The strap on my helmet was strangling me; I couldn't breathe at this stage. I was trying to undo the helmet with one hand but that was impossible while I was still being dragged forward,” he added.

While Watkiss accepted he had shouted at the cyclist, he denied hitting him and claimed his hand had become caught in the helmet’s strap.

His partner, Chantelle Willock, also stood trial on charges of affray and assault but was acquitted.

Watkiss will be sentenced on 7 August.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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