A Devon motorist whose intimidatory driving resulted in life-changing injuries for a cyclist has been banned from driving for six months and fined £400 after admitting careless driving.
On February 7, 2019, Andrew Bashforth was driving to a snooker club in Budleigh Salterton when he stopped at a set of lights behind 68-year-old cyclist Julian Turnbull and his friend, who had ridden from Exmouth.
Devon Live reports that when the lights turned green, the cyclists moved away in single file, only for Bashforth to deliver a close pass.
The cyclists said that as they went past a row of parked cars on their left, they became aware of a Volvo on their right.
Turnbull’s friend said the driver brushed his arm as he passed and then moved closer still to Turnbull while “appearing to shout and shake his fist” at the cyclist.
Turnbull instinctively tried to reach out his right arm, but the car was so close he was unable to. He said that the driver of the vehicle appeared to be raising his left hand.
As Bashforth accelerated away, Turnbull lost his balance and fell, suffering a broken hip, dislocated shoulder, and ligament damage to his thumb.
He told the court the incident means he is no longer able to lead the fit and active life he once did.
The driver of a car travelling behind the incident thought Bashforth’s driving was sufficiently bad that she had slowed, expecting a collision.
She said Bashforth moved left into the path of Turnbull in what she felt was a deliberate manoeuvre.
When the cyclsit fell, she stopped her car to form a barrier and phoned 999.
Bashforth pulled over further down the street and was confronted by Turnbull's friend. He then drove away, saying he would be at the snooker club.
Arriving there, he told a man: "I've just knocked someone off their bike."
When the man asked how the person was, he replied: "I don't know, I left him in the road."
He returned to the scene an hour later and spoke to police, complaining when they seized his vehicle. He then repeatedly called them asking for it to be returned.
Emily Pitts, defending, said the incident had happened at low speed and Bashforth accepted he should have given the cyclist more room.
He had been due to stand trial for dangerous driving and Judge David Evans said there had been “a clear risk of conviction” for this. However, the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.
The judge said: "It seems to me you gave way to a degree of impatience and you drove, albeit at a relatively low speed, with a momentary and foolish aggression and witnesses behind saw you very plainly.
"You are fortunate to have had careless driving accepted because there was a clear risk of conviction of the more serious offence and if you had been you would most likely have never driven again."