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Cyclist jailed after knife attack on driver

Aftermath of near miss turns nasty

We've all been there. Some SMIDSY drongo puts your life in danger and the red mist descends. You fantasise angrily about what you might do if you carried some sort of weapon. A cyclist from Telford just found out how bad an idea it is to act out those fantasies when he was handed an eight month jail sentence after an nasty scuffle with a driver.

The Shropshire Star reports that cyclist Alexander Hassell told driver Jason O’Neill he would "cut him". Hassall, Recorder Peter Rouch QC said had been "out of control".

The court heard that 35-year-old Hassell got into an altercation with O’Neill after a near miss between O'Neill's car and Hassall, who was on a bike at the junction of Mill Street and Kings Street, Wellington, near Telford.

Timothy Harrington, prosecuting, said that the defendant had ridden on but was weaving across the carriageway preventing O’Neill from passing him.

He said that Hassell then stopped, threw his bike to the ground, and aimed a kick at O’Neill’s car causing £250 damage to a door and wing mirror.

Harrington said that the defendant lunged at Mr O’Neill and the pair were wrestling on the floor.

“Mr O’Neill had been holding the defendant when Hassell was shouting that he would “cut him” and he would “stab him”. Mr O’Neill was trying to restrain the defendant,” said Harrington.

Hassall pleaded guilty to affray, being in possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.

The court heard that Hassall had taken a craft knife out of his pocket and was still making threats when O'Neill knocked it from his hand.

Hassall had a lock knife as well, and bystanders were told they would "also be stabbed".

Recorder Peter Rouch QC said Hassell had been “out of control”. His behaviour frightened O’Neill and nearby members of the public.

Debra White, mitigating, said Hassall regretted his behaviour and accepted he had reacted angrily.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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