Motorist jailed for chasing down and hitting teenage cyclist in his car

Convicted of dangerous driving having originally been arrested for attempted murder

A driver has been jailed for eight months for dangerous driving after chasing a cyclist and deliberately driving into him in King's Lynn. Johnny Cunningham, 29, who was originally arrested for attempted murder, was also banned from driving for 12 months.

The Eastern Daily Press describes ‘an atmosphere of considerable ill-feeling in the area’ leading up to the attack. The 16-year-old cyclist had been challenged by a woman carrying a metal bar, while other residents had also gathered with weapons. The cyclist himself is said to have left with his friends, all on bikes, and picked up a baseball bat.

The cyclist said that “everybody along St Edmundsbury Road was wound up. I knew they were coming after me.”

As he turned into Lawrence Road, he heard Cunningham’s silver Vauxhall Astra behind. Jude Durr, prosecuting, said Cunningham pursued the cyclist for about 100 metres into Estuary Close where he hit the victim’s back wheel, sending him over the handlebars.

“I knew they were after me,” said the cyclist. “I was really scared. I had no idea what they were going to do to me. I cannot remember anything else before waking up in hospital.”

Cunningham said he left the scene following the collision because the victim’s friends had caught up and were threatening trouble. William Carter, defending, said he then went home where he was physically sick.

Carter said that Cunningham had been egged on by a passenger in the car who had some issue with the cyclist and lacked the strength of character to refuse him. “It was most likely immaturity on his part, a lack of huge intelligence, that he did what he did.”

Knocked unconscious by the collision, the cyclist later came round at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but did not suffer any long-term injuries.

In 2010, a driver who deliberately knocked down and killed a Coventry cyclist in a road rage attack was jailed for life after being convicted of murder. Sean Fitzgerald used his car as a weapon to target Paul Webb after the cyclist damaged his wing mirror and rode away, ramming his mountain bike and catapulting him into a wall.

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