A company director who deliberately rammed a teenage cyclist, writing off his £2,500 bike, and then told him, “Little shit, you’ve done this,” has been jailed for six months.
Michael Hanley, aged 69, was also banned from driving for 15 months at Minshull Street Crown Court, reports the Manchester Evening News.
He had been found guilty of dangerous driving and common assault at Manchester Magistrates’ Court last month.
Hanley had been waiting at a set of traffic lights in Bury at around 1.45pm on 15 October last year when the 17-year-old cyclist moved ahead of him just as the lights turned green, with a witness describing how the driver had been “bumper hugging” the rider.
He then beeped his horn and flashed his lights, hitting the cyclist as he tried to turn onto a dirt track to get away from Hanley.
After knocking the youth from his bike, Hanley stood over him and said, “Little shit, you’ve done this,” before asking another motorist who had stopped, “Did you see what he was doing? He was weaving all over the road.”
Hanley then grabbed the cyclist by the shirt and punched him in the face. Before driving off, he smashed the wing mirror of his own vehicle.
During last month’s trial, the teenage victim, giving evidence by video link, said: “The bike is irreparable. I went round several bike shops and they said it’s worth practically nothing now.
“The incident has affected me quite badly and I wasn’t fully myself for weeks following it. I lost my confidence and from now on I’ll feel more cautious on the roads if I get another bike.”
Hanley had claimed that the cyclist “must have gone into a pothole and came off his bike” and that “I couldn’t use my vehicle as a weapon because the braking mechanism would stop it.”
He also insisted that it had been the cyclist who had broken his vehicle’s wing mirror.
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.