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Driver who reversed into cyclists before calling them "English bastards" banned from driving

Gareth Jones, 71, was banned from driving for 15 months after being convicted of dangerous driving, failure to stop, and racially aggravated harassment

A driver who deliberately reversed into a group of cyclists before calling them "English bastards" and telling them to "go back to England" has been banned from driving for 15 months.

Gareth Jones was last month convicted of dangerous driving, failure to stop, and racially aggravated harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, having originally pleaded not guilty to all three charges at Caernarforn Magistrates' Court.

Yesterday, he reappeared back at the Magistrates' Court to be sentenced, receiving a 15-month driving ban, a six-month community order with one condition of a curfew to stay at home between 7pm and 7am, as well as a £155 fine for the racially aggravated harassment.

The 71-year-old must also pay £360 towards costs, a £95 surcharge, and must take an extended driving test before he is allowed to drive again.

Jones represented himself at the sentencing hearing, telling magistrates: "I apologise about this offence. I now realise that I have been found guilty by the court and I have done wrong."

The incident happened on a country road near Beaumaris on Anglesey last July as the group of cyclists rode towards Llandegfan. 

Clare Bate, prosecuting, said the group "had to take evasive action to avoid being struck" when Jones overtook them in his Kia Sportage.

One of the riders, Valentin Scambraks, asked the driver, "What the hell are you doing?" To which Jones replied: "You're not Welsh. You're an English bastard."

The driver then reversed into the group, his rear bumper hitting the bike belonging to Mr Scambraks.

Another rider told the court that Jones had said, "Go back to England" to which Mr Scambraks replied: "I'm from the Netherlands, I’m not English."

The second rider, Tiernan Ryan, told the court the motorist "purposefully reversed to try to intimidate us."

Jones, who also represented himself at the trial, said he was met by a "gang" of cyclists "spread out across the road", and denied calling the group "English bastards".

"I might have called him an English snob," he said, before insisting photos taken at the scene by a passing couple were staged and the bike had been pushed into his vehicle as he was being verbally abused by the cyclists.

Ahead of his sentencing, Jones' probation officer said that the driver accepts the verdict but maintained in an interview that the group "ganged up" on him.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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