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14-year-old cyclist in Esssex who asked driver for more room punched by passenger

Connor Duhig's mother says he's too scared to leave house after incident on Sunday...

The mother of a 14-year-old boy from Essex has spoken of how her son was punched by a car passenger while cycling after he asked the driver to give him more space.

Connor Duhig is now too scared to leave the house after the incident on Sunday afternoon, reports the Basildon Echo.

He was cycling through Great Knightleys in Basildon with his brother when a car overtook him.

The youngster asked the driver to give him more space, and the car stopped shortly afterwards with the passenger jumping out and aiming a punch at him.

Connor’s mother, Sarah Duhig, told the newspaper: “He said to them: ‘Can you give me a bit more room next time please?’

“They stopped the car further up the road and the passenger got out. He then punched Connor in the side as he was passed.”

The teenager managed to get away and ran his father, who reported what had happened to the police.

With his brother Nick, Connor knocked on doors of homes where the assault happened and discovered it had been captured on CCTV, with footage appearing on the Basildon Echo website.

It is thought that the black car is a VolvoCX60 with a woman at the wheel.

Mrs Duhig said: “Connor said the man smelt of booze.

“What sort of 40-year-old man does that to a 14-year-old boy?

“I want to ask him why he did it. Why did he want to hit my son?”

She added: “He tried to go to school yesterday but had to come back and was banging on the door saying he just couldn’t do it.

“I am going to try to get him to go back today as he needs to.

“He isn’t normally shy, but this has really upset him.

“He used to go out on his bike a lot but he won’t now.”

A spokesman for Essex Police commented: “Police were called to reports of an assault in Great Knightleys, Basildon, that took place between 4pm and 4.45pm on Sunday.

“The victim, a 14-year-old boy, had been cycling along the road when he was passed by a car.

“Following a verbal altercation, it was reported the driver of the car punched the victim.”

Anyone who has information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 quoting incident 853 of June 11 or on Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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