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Cyclist who assaulted disabled driver jailed for 16 months

Ian MacMillan punched Thomas Johnstone after motorist waved his walking aid at him

A cyclist who assaulted a disabled driver during a road rage incident in Scotland has been jailed for 16 months.

Ian MacMillan, aged 29, attacked 59-year-old Thomas Johnstone after the driver beeped his horn at him in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, reports The Times.

Kristina Kelly, prosecuting, told Stirling Sheriff Court that MacMillan threw his bike to the ground in front of Mr Johnstone’s Mini Countryman car and began yelling and swearing at him after the motorist was reported to have had to “stop abruptly.”

Mr Johnstone, who is deaf and unable to talk, needs a machine to help him breathe and has a tube in his throat as well as a number of pins in his arms and legs as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic collision, was then said to have “alighted from his vehicle and utilised his walking aid by waving it in MacMillan’s direction.”

The pair wrestled with each other after MacMillan grabbed the walking aid, and Mr Johnstone fell to the ground, with the tube in his throat becoming “forcibly dislodged,” and the MacMillan then punched him, knocking off his glasses and hearing aid, which he then kicked down the road.

“Mr MacMillan was still acting in an aggressive manner,” Ms Kelly continued. “Mr Johnstone got back into his car and drove towards where Mr MacMillan was standing with his bicycle. Due to fear of being struck by the vehicle, Mr MacMillan jumped onto the bonnet.”

He also jumped on the windscreen, causing it to crack, and was then arrested by police who had been alerted to the incident, in which Mr Johnstone sustained minor injuries, by witnesses to it.

In mitigation Roberto Manini said that MacMillan, who pleaded guilty to assault under provocation, believed that Mr Johnstone had been about to hit him with his walking aid.

“This happened during the pandemic,” Mr Manini said. “It was almost as if Mr MacMillan was paranoid all the time. It’s his perception of reality that’s the problem.”

Jailing MacMillan, Sheriff Derek Hamilton said: “This was an appalling piece of behaviour involving a disabled person.”

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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