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Jail for South Wales teenager who threw bottle at cyclist from moving car

Victim suffered broken bones in what judge said was "act of wanton violence, more than gross stupidity"...

A teenager who threw a bottle at a cyclist, causing him to fall off his bike and break his elbow and wrist, has been jailed for 12 months.

Sonny Hannah, now aged 19, was a passenger in a moving vehicle when he launched the bottle at John Mihell on Lavernock Road between Sully and Penarth, South Wales, in June last year.

Hannah, from Barry, initially pleaded not guilty to causing the cyclist grievous bodily harm but changed his plea following the discovery of his DNA on the bottle, reports the Penarth Times.

Cardiff Crown Court was told that Hannah, appearing via video link from a Youth Offenders Institution where he is serving a 14-month sentence for supplying heroin, has a background of "wanton violence" against strangers.

On Friday 13 June last year, he was a passenger in a car with three other people, described as being driven erratically and with loud music pumping out of the speakers.

The court was told he had thrown items from the car, striking pedestrians including a woman waiting at a bus stop, before throwing a Coca-Cola bottle over the top of the vehicle towards Mr Mihell, who was riding at 20mph.

It hit the front wheel of his bike, causing him to fall off and sustain cuts and bruises as well as fractures to his wrist and elbow.

Police traced Hannah via the owner of the vehicle, but he initially attempted to deny involvement until the DNA evidence identified him.

Defending Hannah, who has seven previous convictions including ones for actual bodily harm and affray with an offensive weapon, Adam Sharpe described the incident as being due to his client’s “gross stupidity” but asked the court to be lenient.

However, Recorder Ian Murphy QC sentenced him to an additional 12 months in jail, saying: "This was another act of wanton violence, more than gross stupidity," he said.

"It was committed for your amusement and that of your friends," he added.

Simon joined 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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