Cambridge cyclist feared for life after driver's knife threat

Motorist, 23, pleads guilty to threatening behaviour and careless driving in incident last September

A cyclist in Cambridge was so shaken after an incident in which a motorist threatened to use a knife on him that he installed extra security at his home due to fears for his own safety and that of his family, a court has heard.

Bobby Willett, aged 23, pleaded guilty to charges of careless driving and threatening behaviour as a result of the incident which took place at around 6pm on 18 September last year on Chesterton High Street, reports Cambridge News.

Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was told that the 53-year-old cyclist became aware of a white BMW drawing up alongside him as he headed towards Green End Road.

Clare Maggin, prosecuting, said: "He was quite worried about how close that vehicle was coming and was in fear of being knocked off.

"He shouted at the driver to move over because he felt so scared about what was happening.”

She said Willett “started swerving in and out near the cyclist and the defendant was throwing objects out of the vehicle at him, one was a water bottle."

He also swore at the cyclist and shouted for him to stop. The victim, who was fearful for his safety, “pedalled faster to get away,” she added.

Willett stopped his car, got out and shoved the victim in the chest while shouting at him in a “very aggressive manner.”

She said that after Willett said he had a knife and the pair could “sort this out now,” the victim felt "particularly intimidated that something bad was going to happen."

"He feared for his family, himself and his property after it occurred."

The court was told that after the attack the victim put security measures in place at home including barricading his gates and installing CCTV.

Willett claimed when he was interviewed by police that his grandmother had been in the car with him and that the water bottle fell out when she opened the door after he stopped the car because she had cramp in her foot.

But Ms Maggin told the court: "It's clear from the witnesses there was no one else in the car. It was a clear fabrication at the time."

Speaking in defence of Willett, Kathryn Hovington said he acknowledged he had been "wound up and hit out," and that he had thrown rubbish from the car at the victim.

She added that he asked the cyclist to stop because he believed he had hit the side of his vehicle.

"This is the first time this defendant has done anything like this," said Ms Hovington. "Mr Willett is extremely anxious about the whole situation. These proceedings have been a massive wake-up call. He is really sorry.

"He made terrible judgment on the day. Mr Willett is a young man of 23 who has no history of violence."

Although he did not in fact have a knife, he understood that the threat he made would have caused distress to the victim and that he wanted to compensate him, she added.

The case has been adjourned until 22 May while a pre-sentencing report is compiled.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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