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Cyclist attacked with a crutch by angry car passenger, defending lawyer claims “bravado”

John Walker, who used his crutches to assault the victim in Newcastle, has been sentenced to a 12-month community order

A car passenger who confronted and attacked a cyclist with a crutch, after taking issue with the way the bike rider passed the vehicle he was travelling in, has received a comunity order and been ordered to pay significant costs for the assault.

John Walker objected to the way the cyclist rode as he was getting out of the vehicle, Chronicle Live reports. Walker told the court that he believed he had been insulted, and chased and confronted the cyclist as he was stopping to go into a shop.

The 53-year-old man then proceeded to take several swings with one of his crutches, leaving onlookers, which included a young child, shocked. Walker, of Walker, Newcastle, has been found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and has now been given a community order.

During the hearing, defending lawyer Tony Cornberg claimed there was an element of ‘bravado’ in the attack and added that Walker, who has past convictions, is “not a danger to the public”.

The CCTV footage shows Walker with the crutch in both hands, swinging them one at a time and taking aim at the victim's head. At least one blow made contact with his head and left a cut behind the ear which he had to have glued at hospital, leaving a mark on the victim’s hairline.

Sentencing him, judge Julie Clemitson said, “The complainant was cycling past your vehicle. There was a very wide pavement and it looks as if it's meant to facilitate cyclists at the outer edge.

“You took objection at the way he passed you. Whatever the rights and wrongs, your perception was you had been slighted in some way and you became enraged.

“You were clearly irate and confrontational to the point he pushed you away because you were so close to him,” continued the judge.

“Your behaviour was such that those around and about were clear you were the aggressor. Others intervened and you left the scene and were driven away. There were other people in and out of the supermarket, including one young child who was very close to what was going on.”

The incident took place on 5 December 2019, when the driver pulled over on Chillingham Road, Heaton, and Walker, who is still on crutches, was getting out. The court also noted that Walker has previous convictions but nothing since 2000.

The jury found him guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sentenced him to a 12-month community order with rehabilitation. He must pay £200 compensation and £1,000 costs.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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26 comments

Avatar
Steve K | 11 months ago
4 likes

I'm struggling to see how the judge's statement "not a danger to the public" tallies with the following paragraph.

Avatar
AidanR replied to Steve K | 11 months ago
5 likes
Steve K wrote:

I'm struggling to see how the judge's statement "not a danger to the public" tallies with the following paragraph.

It was the defending lawyer who said that, not the judge. Assaulting members of the public for perceived slights seems to me to be a pretty good definition of "a danger to the public".

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Steve K replied to AidanR | 11 months ago
1 like

So it was - sorry, read it too quickly.

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FrankH | 11 months ago
7 likes
Quote:

The jury found him guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and sentenced him to a 12-month community order...

No. The jury found him guilty, the judge sentenced him,

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eburtthebike | 11 months ago
7 likes

It could all have been resolved amicably if the cyclist had kicked him in the crutch.

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perce | 11 months ago
3 likes

I know it's not really relevant but I love that Peter Cook/Dudley Moore "One legged Tarzan" sketch. So funny.

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Rendel Harris replied to perce | 11 months ago
5 likes
perce wrote:

I know it's not really relevant but I love that Peter Cook/Dudley Moore "One legged Tarzan" sketch. So funny.

"Your right leg I like, it's a lovely leg for the role. I've got nothing against your right leg. The trouble is, neither have you." Genius.

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chrisonabike replied to perce | 11 months ago
2 likes

Argh!  You've got me started!  I'm at the art gallery now, the bottoms aren't following me around the room.

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perce replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
2 likes

Thanks for the link. I love watching Dudley Moore trying not to laugh.

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Fignon's ghost | 11 months ago
6 likes

Can I please see something of a benny hill sketch developed from any available footage. Please include the little bald man at the end.
Thank you

Avatar
eburtthebike | 11 months ago
4 likes

I'm confused, beyond my normal, everyday level that is; how can someone with a crutch chase a cyclist?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
1 like
eburtthebike wrote:

I'm confused, beyond my normal, everyday level that is; how can someone with a crutch chase a cyclist?

Very slowly...I assumed that he must have got back in the car and the driver followed the cyclist until he stopped.

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chrisonabike replied to Rendel Harris | 11 months ago
2 likes

Dunno how it is now but when I lived in Leeds it was not uncommon in certain areas to see people apparently toting them as an "accessory".  Single crutch, mostly carried or used for poking things.  Maybe to keep the dogs away, or stash stuff in?  Or was it to show despite injury you were inappropriately "hard"?  No idea.

EDIT well of course there could have been a few who needed to keep the monies for being "signed off" coming in...

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
4 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Dunno how it is now but when I lived in Leeds it was not uncommon in certain areas to see people apparently toting them as an "accessory".  Single crutch, mostly carried or used for poking things.  Maybe to keep the dogs away, or stash stuff in?  Or was it to show despite injury you were inappropriately "hard"?  No idea.

Or to wallop passing cyclists with, obviously!

More seriously I did know someone in Cambridge with rheumatoid arthritis who had good days and (very) bad days but always took her crutch with her regardless because the DHSS (in those days, late '80s/early 90s, assume they still do it) had a nasty habit of snooping round trying to get pictures of people on disability benefits walking unaided.

One would have thought though that if Walker has a permanent disability it would have been mentioned in mitigation as an explanation of his reaction.

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mattw replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
1 like

Cyclist stopped to go in a shop.

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JustTryingToGet... replied to eburtthebike | 11 months ago
4 likes
eburtthebike wrote:

I'm confused, beyond my normal, everyday level that is; how can someone with a crutch chase a cyclist?

I could get up a fair speed on two crutches... and leaping on and off escalators was a joy to behold... drive the station staff at Reading mad.

Just one though... that's a weapon innit.

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brooksby replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 11 months ago
3 likes
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB wrote:

Just one though... that's a weapon innit.

Unless you have a parrot on your shoulder.

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hawkinspeter | 11 months ago
12 likes

That kind of aggression towards strangers should entail a prison sentence at least.

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STiG911 | 11 months ago
26 likes

So he has previous convictions and attacked a member of the public - but he's not a danger to the public.

Riiiiiiiight.

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Off the back | 11 months ago
34 likes

Attacking someone with a crutch and thinks he can claim innocence? 

Sounds like he hasn't got a leg to stand on. 

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Boopop replied to Off the back | 11 months ago
0 likes

*rimshot*

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RoubaixCube replied to Off the back | 11 months ago
13 likes

I think its rather ironic that the attacker was named 'John Walker'

 

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Pub bike replied to RoubaixCube | 11 months ago
8 likes

He also seems to be from a place called Walker.  Very confusing.

This article has left me stumped.

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nosferatu1001 replied to RoubaixCube | 11 months ago
6 likes

How  attacking someone can be called bravado, even by a brief, boggles the mind. 

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Sriracha replied to RoubaixCube | 11 months ago
4 likes
RoubaixCube wrote:

I think its rather ironic that the attacker was named 'John Walker'

 

Walker, of Walker, on crutches.

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to Sriracha | 11 months ago
1 like
Sriracha wrote:
RoubaixCube wrote:

Walker, of Walker, on crutches.

Just hoppit with your humour.

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