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17 months in jail for Bristol bus driver who 'used vehicle as weapon'

Cyclist blatantly side-swiped by overtaking bus driver

The image above shows the moment when a bus was used last year as a weapon by its driver to clatter cyclist Phillip Mead across one lane of a multi-lane street in Bristol.

The bus driver Gavin Hill, 29, from Frome in Somerset, was sentenced today at Bristol Crown Court for dangerous driving and causing grievous bodily harm. He has been jailed for 17 months.

The incident which happened on 6th April 2011 and which was recorded on CCTV is shown on the BBC News Bristol website here. In an irony that can only be described as grim took place outside the city's Magistrates Court, Hill was arrested on the spot by police attending the incident and he was also immediately sacked by his employer - Bugler Coaches.

At his trial the court was told that the attack occured following a disagreement between the two men at the James Baron roundabout, shortly afterwards Hill overtook Mr Mead and swerved his bus in to him hitting the cyclist's shoulder and hurling him across the road. Mr Mead suffered a broken leg, wrist and thumb and his bicycle was crushedunder the wheels of the bus.

As we reported in January when Hill was convicted, Mr Mead was in hospital for two weeks as a consequence of the assault and needed a further operation to rebuild his left knee.

At last month's pre-sentence hearing judge Recorder Frank Abbot said:

“You drove in a way that was patently dangerous and in my view you did it out of spite towards the cyclist with catastrophic results," said Judge Mark Horton at the conviction.

“He could have been killed and you would have been facing a much more serious offence."

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