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Van driver 'deliberately knocked cyclist off bike,' Old Bailey told

Dennis Baker charged with dangerous driving foillowing incident at Bank Junction last August

A van driver in London allegedly knocked a woman off her bike after she gave him a v-sign, the Old Bailey has heard, with the incident caught by a CCTV camera inside his own vehicle.

Dennis Baker, aged 67, is standing trial for dangerous driving following the altercation which happened at London’s notorious Bank Junction in August last year, reports The Mirror.

The court was told that cyclist Alison Kemper, 49, was left with permanent scarring to her elbow and ankle as a result of Baker’s actions.

She had been riding to work with her husband on the morning of 6 August 2015 with the roads busier than usual due to a strike by London Underground staff.

At a red traffic light on Cornhill, the couple moved beyond the advanced stop line into the box reserved for cyclists, and ahead of Baker’s delivery van.

According to CCTV footage from inside the cab, he said, “Oh God” and, after the lights changed and Mrs Kempster signalled right to go onto Poultry, “Come on get out of the bloody way,” beeping his horn at the cyclists.

She told the court: “I got a beep which I regarded as an angry beep which I was rather annoyed about because it was a hugely busy day and I knew I was cycling impeccably.

"I am afraid I made an unsuitable gesture and stuck two fingers up.

"I continued and heard a roar of the van coming up my side. Then he slowed to my speed and came closer and closer getting towards the edge of his lane, then he must have been in my lane.

"I suddenly realised, 'Oh God he is doing this on purpose, he is actually running into me'."

She described how she leant against the van to prevent being pushed into oncoming vehicles.

"I am battling to stay up thinking 'Don't go under the wheels'. I knew I was going to go down. Fortunately I was far back enough I didn't go under the wheels."

She sustained bruises as well as scratches on her arms, ribs and legs, but Baker only stopped when a motorcyclist pulled up alongside him to tell him the cyclist had fallen from her bike.

"Really, did I?” he said. “Did she not run into me?"

Baker, from Worcester Park, Kingston-upon-Thames, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and claimed that while he heard a bang, he assumed he had driven over a manhole cover.

But Martin Hooper, for the prosecution, said: "We suggest he was rather irritated by this cyclist in particular but also cyclists generally.

"Having been hooted by him, she stuck two fingers up to him which annoyed him to drive closer and closer to her causing her to fall off her bike.

"There was no need to do that, he didn't have to veer out of the way of anything, there was plenty of room to the left and this was a completely unnecessary accident."

The case continues.

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Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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