A Cambridge motorist who kicked a cyclist unconscious after the rider clipped his wing mirror, has been given a community service order and a fine, the Cambridge News reports.
Robert Smith, punched Nandor Erdos up to 15 times, kneed him in the stomach and kicked him in the head as he lay on the ground, Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard.
Smith, 38, a British Gas employee was not even in the vehicle at the time of the incident but was alerted to the minor collision by a relative. The father-of-one, chased down his victim in his car, forcing him off the road before launching the unprovoked attack.
Smith claimed the incident came after he had suffered a spate of vandalism to his car and work van over a six month period, and was spared a jail sentence.
The newspaper reports that Laura Mardell, prosecuting, said Mr Erdos had been cycling along Barnwell Road on July 31 when he clipped the wing mirror of a parked car with his handlebar.
Not thinking he had caused any damage, he rode on. Ms Mardell said that when Smith caught up with Erdos, the British Gas employee began shouting before attacking him.
“The defendant grabbed Mr Erdos’ head, pulling it forward into the stomach area, and the defendant used one of his knees to knee him in the stomach and ribs several times," she said.
“Then he used his right arm to punch him to the head and face several times, and Mr Erdos believes he was punched around 15 times.
“He describes then falling to the floor, at which point the defendant kicked him in the head, and he believes he went unconscious for several seconds.”
A statement from Mr Erdos, was read to the court. He said: “This was an unprovoked attack and was completely unjustified. I didn’t antagonise the male in any way.”
Smith pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.
Chairman of the bench Tony Birks handed Smith a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, saying: “This was an unprovoked and unjustified attack on a cyclist.”
The Cambridge News reports that Smith must do 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 compensation plus £85 costs.
We asked British Gas some specific questions about Smith, relating to his possible interaction with the public through his job, his claims about vandalism to his work vehicle and about the company's policy regarding the conviction of its employees for offences of violence.
road.cc were given the following statement:
“It is not possible to comment on this case in detail, as the incident occurred outside work time. We have launched a disciplinary investigation process and Mr Smith has been suspended pending the outcome of this investigation. We do not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour by employees.”