A woman who left a cyclist with chemical burns and physical scarring after throwing a corrosive substance over him in a road rage attack has been handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
The Hull Daily Mail reports that Deborah Tasker initially denied wrongdoing and tried to claim she had thrown “Diet Coke” over her victim, but later changed her plea and admitted to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The incident occurred on April 14, 2017, when Tasker and her husband were driving over Hull’s North Bridge with their two children in the back.
Philip Evans, prosecuting, said the family encountered a group of cyclists with one accusing Tasker’s husband of veering towards them as they continued onto Freetown Way.
Evans said: “The Volvo and the cyclists travelled almost parallel with one another up to George Street traffic lights. At those traffic lights, the cyclist tapped on the closed passenger window of the Volvo where the defendant was sat.
“A conversation between the driver and the cyclists followed which led to an exchange of imprecations.”
At the next junction with Percy Street, the cyclist squirted water at the Volvo, and at the next set of traffic lights, Tasker held out a paper cup filled with cold coffee and spilt it on the victim’s chest.
As all parties continued onto Spring Bank, Tasker then hurled a “translucent liquid” at her victim. Half an hour later the cyclist felt a “burning sensation” on his left leg and attended Hull Royal Infirmary.
He showered for 30 minutes and doctors examined the substance thrown at him.
Evans said: “The substance was found to be a PH level of 11. This is consistent with cleaning products which are kept in child proof containers that you have to make a special effort to get into.
“The victim was given moisturising cream to help alleviate the burning sensation which he says persisted for some time.”
Judge Richardson, who likened the substance to “oven cleaner,” said: “The children of the defendant were present in the car. They are toddlers and to see their mother behave as she did must have been a frightening experience for them indeed. It went completely against the welfare interests of the children.”
Sentencing, he said he was taking into account Tasker’s “exceptional” circumstances. She is full-time carer for both of her children, one of whom is “medically disadvantaged.”