A man from Surrey who was driving a car when his passenger opened a door and slapped a cyclist on the bottom has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and other offences, with a judge saying that the case was "bordering on the bizarre."
Sam Connelly, aged 25 and from Frimley, was eventually caught when he crashed into a railway bridge as his vehicle was being chased by police in May.
Officers discovered he was wearing nothing but boxer shorts – just one of several bizarre aspects of the case that emerged at his trial this week at Guildford Crown Court, reports Mail Online.
The male cyclist whose bottom had been slapped managed to take down the vehicle’s registration number and passed the details to the police.
Before officers were able to apprehend Connelly, however, he and his passenger drove their car to the house of a couple they did not know and shouted: “We know where you live. We’re coming back.”
That incident was also reported to the police, but according to Hannah Duncan, prosecuting, when officers tried to stop the Volvo Connelly was driving, “It slowed down and then it shot off.”
She added: “Police chased after it and it smashed into a railway bridge. The passenger ran off. So did the defendant.”
The damage to the bridge caused lengthy delays for passengers with the line from Ascot to Aldershot closed for much of the day.
Connelly, who reportedly smelled of alcohol, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop, failing to provide a specimen and driving while uninsured.
In his defence, Rachel Ottley told the court that Connelly had personal problems and had argued with his girlfriend that day.
His probation officer, Karen Lawler, said: “If he feels under pressure, he tends to do rather daft and stupid things,” adding that he had lost his job as a result of the episode.
Connelly was handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years, told to do 200 hours' unpaid work, and received an 18-month driving ban.
Judge Stephen Climie told him: “You put the lives of others at risk by your irrational behaviour. There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour.”
He added: “Any further offence committed in the next two years, you and I will meet again. And I have a long memory.”
Simon joined road.cc 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.