Driver who used van "as a weapon" to knock cyclist from bike jailed

Danny Hughes also threatened to kill cyclist Mark Chamberlain in incident near Southampton

A man who used his van “as a weapon” to knock a cyclist from his bike and threatened to kill him has been jailed for 22 weeks.

Danny Hughes, aged 26, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour, dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving while uninsured, reports the Daily Echo.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard Hughes, a plumber, beeped his horn and was revving his engine “in an aggressive manner” as he drove behind cyclist Mark Chamberlain on Tollbar Way, Hedge End, reports the Daily Echo.

He then overtook the rider so closely that he clipped him with his wing mirror begore carrying out an emergency stop that caused the cyclist to crash into the back of his van, sustaining facial cuts and bruises and an injured shoulder.

“I was aware of a vehicle behind me,” Mr Chamberlain told the court. “I could hear the engine revving in an aggressive manner.

“I cleared the roundabout and could hear the horn. I was scared as there was nowhere to stop. I feared stopping because I knew the vehicle was so close.

“The vehicle was alongside me,” he continued. “The passenger window was open. He started to shout abuse at me … its front wing brushed up against me. I was struck from behind – this was the wing mirror.

“It unbalanced me up to the point that I hit the kerb. The vehicle conducted an emergency stop. I was unable to stop as I collided with the vehicle. I lay there for a second. I couldn’t quite believe this had happened.

“The abuse started immediately – it took me by surprise. Hughes said ‘I should kill you – if it wasn’t for my kids I would kill you now’.”

According to a pre-sentencing report, Hughes was found to have anger management issues.

District Judge Peter Greenfield told him: “You used the vehicle as a weapon. You go back for a bit more – giving the cyclist quite an earful. You could have killed him.”

Besides the 22-week jail sentence, Hughes was ordered to pay £300 in compensation, £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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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