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Cyclist who football manager forced off road reveals full story

Matthew Lupton was victim of incident in which witnesses said Mike Cook used his vehicle as a weapon

A cyclist who was the victim of a road rage incident in which a football manager was described by witnesses as having used his car as a weapon to force the rider off the road has contacted to give a full account of what happened.

As we reported yesterday, Chippenham Town caretaker manager Mike Cook was fined £500 and banned for driving for six months under the totting-up process in connection with the incident in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

> Football manager fined for forcing cyclist off road

After seeing our article, which was based on a report in the Stroud News & Journal, reader Matthew Lupton got in touch to tell us that the newspaper’s article was “slightly confused” and to clarify exactly how the incident unfolded.

He said: “I was cycling through the one way system in Stroud, a car pulled out in front of me and drove slowly through the one way system (20mph zone).

“Mike Cook caught up with me while I was behind that car and was driving very close revving his engine. Once the slow car was out of the way, Mike Cook then overtook me where the road is too narrow for a safe overtake.

“The pass was very close and only just missed me so I shouted 'Oi!'. Mike Cook then stopped his car. I overtook the stationary vehicle and he set off again.

“Once again he drove very close behind me and was revving the engine. I had to stop at a mini roundabout, he overtook me while I was waiting and drove so close that his tyre brushed my ankle.”

At his trial where he pleaded guilty to careless driving after earlier denying the more serious charge of dangerous driving, Cook’s defence barrister said that he had been frustrated by the cyclist because he was in a rush to get home, having spent three hours on a train.

According to Matthew, though, it does not seem that he was in that much of a hurry. He said: “He then drove very slowly in front of me (a bit odd considering he was in a rush!).

“At the next two roundabouts he kept to the right, leaving a big gap in the left and drove very slowly, I remained behind him. He then stopped in the middle of the road, again leaving a big gap on the left.

“This time I decided to get past him (having no idea what his intention was), but as I was passing him he set off and deliberately drove towards the edge of the road. My wheel hit the kerb and I went over the handlebars.

“He then drove off at speed. Fortunately I only suffered minor bruising and minor damage to the bike (derailleur and wheel). The car behind me when this occurred was driven by an off-duty PCSO who witnessed everything after the first roundabout (ie didn't see the initial close pass).”

Matthew added: “The case was treated seriously by the police, but it took a long time for Mr Cook to be interviewed. The CPS then took a very long time to make a charging decision. 

“As liability was in dispute the insurance company refused to consider my claim until they got the police file.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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