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“They are always in the way" says farmer who did close pass in tractor before throwing cyclist and bike to grass verge

Victim says his attacker did emergency stop in front of him

A Cumbria farmer has been found guilty of common assault for a road rage attack on a cyclist. “They are always in the way; always annoying like that. They’re always there,” said Kallum Hunt, 23.

The News and Star reports that on July 18 2018 Brett Preston was cycling between Hutton-in-the-Forrest and Carlisle when he heard a tractor approaching from behind.

Prosecutor Rachel Parker said: “The tractor started to overtake Mr Preston and at this point he believed the tractor was too close to him. Mr Preston was terrified and shouted at the driver, the defendant.”

Preston said the tractor took a while to get past and as it became visible in his peripheral vision, he started to panic.

“I could hear the tread of the tyres on the road and there was some sort of machinery on the back. It took what seemed like an age to get past... I saw those spikes [on the back of the tractor] which were rattling.”

Once he had passed, Hunt did an emergency stop, forcing Preston to stop near the spikes on the machinery behind.

Hunt then got out and confronted Preston, accusing him of having sped up as he tried to overtake.

Preston said Hunt thumped him in the chest, then threw the bike onto the verge, “and then put his hands on my lapels and threw me. I ended up on my back, basically.”

Hunt admitted damaging the bike, but denied common assault.

“I was angry,” he said. “They [cyclists] are always in the way; always annoying like that. They’re always there.”

“I’m satisfied you did strike Mr Preston to the chest,” said District Judge Gerald Chalk. “It’s what’s called road rage.”

Hunt was handed a 12-month community order and asked to pay £200 compensation plus £800 in court costs.

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