A court has heard how an angry motorist told a cyclist to “get off the f***king road” before deliberately knocking her off her bike. 74-year-old Joseph Butland drove his 4x4 into Rebecca Davidson-Hall three times before she eventually fell, suffering a broken hand and bruising.
The Western Telegraph reports that Davidson-Hall was cycling towards her grandmother’s house on the A4076 Freemans Way in Haverfordwest when Butland pulled his Hyundai Tucson alongside her. Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that she was doing about 16mph at the time.
Davidson-Hall signalled for Butland to overtake, but he instead screamed at her: “Get off the f***king road. You should be on the cycle path.”
Jones said that while there was a track alongside the road, she was quite entitled to use the road.
Butland then swerved towards the cyclist in what was interpreted as “some kind of warning.” He then swerved a second time, this time making contact, causing her to wobble and a third such manoeuvre meant his car hit her arm. Jones said Davidson-Hall “sensibly” fell to her left and not to her right and into the carriageway.
The incident was said to have been blatant and motorists who witnessed it reported him to police. Butland was arrested the same day and admitted shouting at the cyclist, but not deliberately swerving into her, although he later admitted a charge of dangerous driving.
David Williams, representing Butland, said his behaviour was difficult to explain and that he had simply become angry at seeing Davidson-Hall riding in the carriageway when he thought she should have been on the cycle path. "There cannot be argument that she should not be compensated," he said.
The judge, Mr Recorder Jonathan Furness, told Butland: "You decided this lady should not have been on the road, although she had been riding quite lawfully.”
Describing Butland's driving as "inexplicable and inexcusable," he said: "It is not for members of the public to get involved in the way that you did."
Furness did not impose a custodial sentence, saying that he was bearing in mind Butland’s age and the fact that he had up until this point led a blameless life. He instead ordered that he carry out 140 hours of unpaid work for the community and pay a court charge of £900, a government surcharge of £60, £400 in prosecution costs and his own defence costs, plus £1,000 in compensation to Davidson-Hall. He was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pass an extended driving test before regaining it.
Davidson-Hall's recovery from her injuries is unknown as she works as a medical officer on trawlers operating off the coast of the United States and it had not been possible to contact her.
Earlier this month, a woman who tried to run down an autistic cyclist in Kingston-upon-Thames and ended up ploughing into a hair salon was 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.