A man who attacked a cyclist, fracturing his shoulder and leg, has been ordered to pay £10,000 in compensation.
The road rage driver, Michael Gibbins, became angry when the cyclist moved into the centre of the road to cross a narrow bridge near Kibworth, Leicestershire.
Gibbins, a self-employed driver, drove his Mercedes ‘intimidatingly close’ to the cyclist, before pushing him off his bike, reports the Leicester Mercury. The judge ruled Gibbins should keep his driving licence in order to pay compensation to his victim.
Tony Stanford, Prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court: "The defendant lowered the passenger window and shouted something, with animated waving of his hands.
"He pulled up ahead of the cyclist and opened his door as he was passing. A witness said it looked as though the driver was deliberately trying to knock the cyclist over as he passed.
"The defendant then accelerated away and stopped further down the road.
"He got out of his vehicle and ran at the cyclist and either shoulder-barged or pushed him, knocking him off his bike, causing him to fall heavily on the floor."
The victim who was described as fit and healthy, with 40 years’ cycling under his belt, was in hospital for three weeks, off work for two months and walks with a limp after the incident left him with one shorter leg.
The Mercury reports the victim is no longer able to cycle long distances, and is still undergoing physiotherapy.
Gibbins was given a 16 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, with 210 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £10,000 to his victim within 12 months, and £250 court costs.
Judge Philip Head said: "This was road rage.
"He was an active man whose life you've impacted upon gravely.
"You were in a blind rage because of the affront you felt you'd suffered.
"He avoided your car door when it opened and you accelerated away, pulled up ahead of him, got out and raced over to push or shove him, propelling him off his bicycle.
"You stood over him saying he shouldn't have been mouthing off – even if he did say something to you, it was you who started this and you were the one who resorted to violence.
"You have no previous convictions and I accept it was an isolated incident – but you have to keep a lid on your temper.
"The public is best served by you continuing to earn a living and being able to pay compensation to your victim."
Mara Silva-Romefort, mitigating, said: "He left the scene only after he was told to leave by others who felt his presence was causing further distress and he didn't try and evade the police – he fully expected to be contacted.
"He has, right from the start, said he wanted to admit his wrongdoing.
"It's not a case of his having a lack of remorse, he's trying to understand why he behaved in this way and he is remorseful.
"He's a cyclist himself and that's why he felt able to remonstrate with the cyclist.
"He also drives for a living.
"He doesn't seek to excuse his behaviour."