A Liverpool man who accelerated into a cyclist who had criticised his driving has been jailed for 14 months. Sean Furlong, who admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, was also banned from the road for two years and seven months.
The Liverpool Echo reports that at on June 10 last year, Furlong overtook Kenneth Cawsey on Crosby Road South, Seaforth. The cyclist said that he then swerved in front of him, almost hitting the kerb with his front nearside wheel.
Cawsey rode up to Furlong’s open window and asked, "Are you blind or are you an idiot?" before riding away.
Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said that when the lights changed, Furlong sped up behind Cawsey, "got extremely close" and then "slammed on the brakes".
"Mr Cawsey turned his head to Mr Furlong, put his arm out and said, I quote from Mr Cawsey's own account: 'What are you doing? You fucking wanker.'
"In response, Mr Cawsey says Mr Furlong put his full beam on and accelerated towards Mr Cawsey and Mr Cawsey believes the vehicle was turned inwards slightly.”
Furlong hit Cawsey’s rear wheel and drove off. A police officer saw the collision, stopped him further down the road and arrested him.
Dillon said it was impossible to know whether driving into the cyclist was a deliberate act, but that it was clear he had driven “too fast, too close and too dangerously and caused the clipping of the cycle.”
Furlong told the officer, "I may have clipped him, I'm not sure," but Dillon said the collision would have been obvious given that it buckled the bike's back wheel.
Cawsey told the court he now has bone fragments floating around in his right shoulder, which may require surgery. Despite an operation to his knee, he has a limp and has given up cycling.
Furlong’s criminal record includes reckless driving in 1989 and a six year jail sentence for aggravated burglary in 1991.
The judge told Furlong that when challenged by Cawsey, "your already poor driving became dangerous." He added that, "a significant aggravating factor is you did not stop, despite the fact the victim rolled over the bonnet of your car. You left him for dead."