A cyclist convicted of a road rage attack in which he hit a driver and his car with a heavy bike lock has been ordered to complete 150 hours of community service, reports Get West London. James Bromet, who admitted charges of assault, causing criminal damage and using threatening words to provoke violence at Hammersmith magistrates’ court last week, was also ordered to pay £590 in compensation, a courts charge of £150 and a victim surcharge of £60.
The 51-year-old was cycling on Goldhawk Road when he cycled around and cut up Alfa Romeo driver Robert Jackson as he indicated to turn right. The victim beeped his horn, which prompted Bromet to shout at him and stick up his middle finger.
Bromet then shouted: “I’m going to hit your car” and taking his Kryptonite bike lock, he smashed the bodywork. When Jackson got out, Bromet swung the lock at him too, causing bruising and a cut chin.
Bromet’s actions were seen by a police officer who immediately arrested him. He later apologised for the attack and said he was “mortified” about the assault.
In a police statement read to court, he said: “This car came up behind very aggressively, tooting, obviously taking offence at something, but it didn’t stop, and came up behind us again. It was then that I reacted badly.”
Ben Lansbury, defending, said:
“We cannot gainsay why the driver of the vehicle stopped, but stop he did, and even in his own words he said he ran towards Mr Bromet in order to detain him, which I take to mean restrain him. And at that stage he waved the bike lock about to keep him away – unfortunately there was contact. That went beyond what would be admissible as self-defence at that stage.”
The court also heard that a close friend of Bromet’s had been knocked off his bike at the same roundabout earlier in the year, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state.
District Judge Fiona Barrie accepted that Bromet’s actions were “entirely out of character” but concluded: “This was an aggressive and frightening incident for (Mr Jackson) — notwithstanding any anxiety and fear you held as a cyclist. Whether you were cycling aggressively or not there plainly came a point where you lost your temper when the complainant repeatedly tooted his horn at you.”