A Derbyshire farmer who reversed into a cyclist on purpose has escaped jail after being handed a suspended sentence and banned from driving for 18 months.
Steven Gammon, from Great Longstone, Bakewell, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving today at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court, reports The Star.
The incident happened on 4 August 2019 outside the Peak House pub in Little Longstone.
Robert Carr, prosecuting, told the court that the cyclist had been riding downhill on a narrow road, with space squeezed further still by a row of cars parked outside the public house.
As the cyclist, who was riding with his girlfriend, approached the parked cars, he saw Gammon driving towards him in his Vauxhall Astra.
The cyclist moved into the middle of the road, with the court told that Gammon, aged 40, braked to a halt.
The cyclist was said to have made a comment to Gammon as he passed the vehicle – he was also reported to have “clipped” it – and after passing, the motorist reversed at him “at speed.”
The victim was knocked to the ground, sustaining minor injuries, and despite his girlfriend calling on Gammon to stop, the farmer drove off.
The bike he was riding was badly damaged, and Mr Carr said that “It had some sentimental value to him because he had used the cycle to ride from Land’s End to John O’ Groats for charity.”
In mitigation, David Gittins told the court that Gammon, who has 96 sheep which graze on different strips of land, might lose his livelihood because he needed his car to care for the animals, including taking water to them.
“He is a tenant farmer and his wife cleans other properties in the afternoons,” he explained.
“If you know the area you will know that it is beautiful, but it is also very remote.”
Mr Gittins said that Gammon also needed access to his car to care for the couple’s two young children, adding that before the coronavirus crisis happened, the farmer had hoped to turn a profit this year for the first time.
The magistrates handed Gammon an 18-month driving ban alongside a six-week jail term, suspended for 18 months.
He will have to take an extended driving test to get his driving licence back, and was also ordered to pay £85 in costs as well as a £122 victim surcharge.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.