A woman who tried to run down an autistic cyclist in Kingston-upon-Thames and ended up ploughing into a hair salon has been jailed for three years. Natalie Pyne was found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm after a jury ruled that she deliberately tried to drive her Audi Q7 4x4 into Simon Edgely with whom she had been arguing.
Pyne got out of her car to argue with Edgley following an alleged near miss on Park Road on June 7, 2014. A witness described the cyclist “kicking the car in quite a comical manner” while a teenage boy in Pyne’s Audi shouted at him. After Edgley started to cycle off, Pyne reversed before driving towards him and into the Park Salon.
The court heard that she had five children in the car when the incident took place. Edgley’s bike was left mangled after the collision, but he escaped with only minor injuries.
Prosecutor James Lofthouse said: “[Pyne] intended to cause Mr Edgley very serious harm. She was reckless. She got back into the car, in anger, the red mist descended and she chose to drive into Mr Edgley.”
Judge Susan Tapping described Pyne as having been ‘out of control’ reports The Surrey Comet. “I have given considerable consideration to your circumstances,” she said. “You deliberately used your car as a weapon.”
Pyne had claimed that her car malfunctioned before she clipped Edgley and went through the bay window of the salon, causing more than £25,000 worth of damage. In a statement taken by police after the accident and read out by Lofthouse, Pyne said she had been having problems with the car and had also felt threatened by Edgley’s behaviour.
However, traffic officer PC Peter Traylor said he could find “no fault” with the car. “I tried lots of different scenarios to try and [get the car] to do what the lady had told us it had done. The car's fail safe system would not let me do it,” he said.
The court also heard that Pyne had previous driving-related convictions, having been convicted of dangerous driving for drunkenly driving at more than 70mph on the wrong side of the road in January 2009. At that time, she was disqualified from driving for 12 months and given a suspended sentence. On this occasion, she has also been handed a four-year driving ban.
Reacting to the verdict, Edgely said: “I don’t want a mother of six going to prison, because that’s on my conscience. Since the accident I haven’t been able to go out. I’ve managed for a while [to cycle], until I met three motor vehicles at a roundabout and haven’t since. I don’t know if I ever will again.”