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Motorist who deliberately slammed on brakes, causing cyclist to smash through car’s rear windscreen, jailed for 14 months

Driver William Bowman had dangerously overtaken two female cyclists just moments before the sickening collision, and initially blamed the seriously injured victim for the crash

A motorist who pulled in front of a cyclist before deliberately slamming on his brakes, causing the rider to slam head-first into the car’s rear windscreen, has been jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for four years.

Mark Stewart was cycling on a country road near the village of Drem, East Lothian, on 23 July 2020, when he was overtaken on a blind bend by 55-year-old driver William Bowman, who was seen “racing up alongside” the cyclist while blaring his car horn, Edinburgh Live reports.

After sharply pulling in front of the rider, Bowman – who had close passed two female cyclists on a similar corner moments before encountering Mr Stewart – abruptly stopped his car, causing the cyclist to smash into the back of the vehicle.

As Mr Stewart, who initially lost consciousness in the collision and feared that he would be left paralysed by the incident, lay bloodied and injured on the road, Bowman was overheard by witnesses blaming the cyclist for the crash.

However, earlier this year, the motorist pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by driving dangerously, and was sentenced to 14 months in prison at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week.

Bowman also admitted to a separate drink driving charge, after being caught with 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath in April this year, and was handed another four-month sentence, which will run concurrently alongside the longer term.

“I was worried I was paralysed”

Speaking previously at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, fiscal depute Ross Price said that witnesses had spotted Bowman close passing two female cyclists on a bend shortly before the collision, a manoeuvre described as “extremely dangerous”.

Price told the court that the motorist then “raced up alongside [Mr Stewart] with the horn blaring” as they both entered Drem.

The fiscal continued: “Mr Stewart then recalls the vehicle pulling in front of him and slamming on the brakes causing him to hit the back of the vehicle and lose consciousness.”

One of the two cyclists who witnessed the crash later stated: “The vehicle had overtaken all of us – I saw the driver of the car do an emergency stop. He came to a complete stop on the left side of the road.

“The cyclist went right into the back of the left-hand side of his car, tilted forwards and his head and face went through the rear window of the car breaking the glass.

“The cyclist fell to the ground to left of the car shouting ‘my neck, my neck’ and there was blood all over his face.”

The fiscal told the court that Mr Stewart said that he was “worried that I was paralysed because the pain in my neck was excruciating, and I couldn’t move my legs and I had pins and needles in my arms.

“I asked one of the people helping me to get some photos because I could hear the driver saying it was my fault.”

The court also heard that, after exiting his vehicle, Bowman “kept asking witnesses for a lighter” and “did not once ask how the complainer was and seemed unphased he was seriously injured”.

Alongside his 14-month jail term, Bowman, from Dirleton, East Lothian, has been banned from driving for four years and told by Sheriff Donald Corke that he must pass an extended test before he is allowed back on the road.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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59 comments

Avatar
mctrials23 | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

I'll never understand the idea of an "extended retest" being some sort of punishment or protection for the rest of us. The vast vast vast majority of people forced to do this are willfully shit drivers. They aren't bad due to a lack of skill. They are bad because they enjoy it or simply because they are sad little humans who are angry at their lot in life and want to take it out on someone else while they are on their power trip in their lump of steel. Same as the sad americans who do the same with guns. 

Avatar
EddyBerckx | 1 year ago
5 likes

Half decent sentence for once but honestly, how is this not GBH etc?

and with this and the drink driving charge...why isn't it a life ban or min 10 years and so on??

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swldxer | 1 year ago
6 likes

"UNFAZED", not "unphased."

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swldxer | 1 year ago
7 likes

It's 35 μg of alcohol - if it was 35 mg, he would have been dead.

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hawkinspeter replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
11 likes

swldxer wrote:

It's 35 μg of alcohol - if it was 35 mg, he would have been dead.

[REDACTED]

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes

One of Gregor Fisher's great moments! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNn-VkhZiZE

Avatar
swldxer replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

swldxer wrote:

It's 35 μg of alcohol - if it was 35 mg, he would have been dead.

...would have been dead if he wasn't scottish

35 mg is roughly 1000 times the drink drive limit which is measured in MICROGRAMMES - so he would have been dead anywhere.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
8 likes

swldxer wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

swldxer wrote:

It's 35 μg of alcohol - if it was 35 mg, he would have been dead.

[REDACTED]

35 mg is roughly 1000 times the drink drive limit which is measured in MICROGRAMMES - so he would have been dead anywhere.

[REDACTED]

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
7 likes

Do you want to explain to swldxer the concept of "humour"?

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
9 likes

brooksby wrote:

Do you want to explain to swldxer the concept of "humour"?

Only if he can explain to me the concept of wing mirrors

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
8 likes

Cut him some slack. He's only just got his pedantry license.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
9 likes

ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

Cut him some slack. He's only just got his pedantry license.

Irregardless, it's easy to take things like that for granite

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
6 likes

Too be fayre I could care less about the hole thing.

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swldxer replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 1 year ago
5 likes

ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

Cut him some slack. He's only just got his pedantry license.

"LICENCE" in the UK.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
0 likes

Why on earth would we use UK spelling on the internet? Even British people should use US spelling on the internet.

Avatar
swldxer replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Do you want to explain to swldxer the concept of "humour"?

Only if he can explain to me the concept of wing mirrors

Mirrors that are fixed to a car's front wings - see the 1970's. Attached to doors these days.

Avatar
ShutTheFrontDawes replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm sure that someone has tried this before, but have you actually tried looking in a dictionary?

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/wing-mirror

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dreamlx10 replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

Nice bit of casual racism there

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to dreamlx10 | 1 year ago
0 likes
dreamlx10 wrote:

Nice bit of casual racism there

*Bigotry

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hawkinspeter replied to dreamlx10 | 1 year ago
0 likes

dreamlx10 wrote:

Nice bit of casual racism there

Apologies for any offence - it was intended as a joke

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

Wrong answer - you should have gone with "as an avid Scotsman / regular drunken bam myself, I don't see the problem..."

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OldRidgeback replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

dreamlx10 wrote:

Nice bit of casual racism there

Apologies for any offence - it was intended as a joke

As a Scot I've heard 'jokes' like that many, many times. It isn't funny. Yes, I take offence.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
1 like

OldRidgeback wrote:

hawkinspeter wrote:

dreamlx10 wrote:

Nice bit of casual racism there

Apologies for any offence - it was intended as a joke

As a Scot I've heard 'jokes' like that many, many times. It isn't funny. Yes, I take offence.

Although it's too late, I've removed my comments now.

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OldRidgeback replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

Ok, every day can be a learning experience. No hard feelings.

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bikeman01 | 1 year ago
5 likes

What is it with courts and concurrent sentencing? Doesn't it just mean that if you commit multple crimes, you only get punished for one of them. 

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jh2727 replied to bikeman01 | 1 year ago
4 likes

bikeman01 wrote:

What is it with courts and concurrent sentencing? Doesn't it just mean that if you commit multple crimes, you only get punished for one of them. 

To be fair, it is pretty rare to get a custodial sentence for drink driving - even when nearly 1600 times over the limit.

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kil0ran | 1 year ago
2 likes

Driver looks a lovely chap. Are those love/hate tats on his hands?

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wtjs | 1 year ago
6 likes

This is a good result from the police and the courts!

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geomannie 531 replied to wtjs | 1 year ago
2 likes

Two cheers for the result IMHO. The driver still has the possibility of getting his licence back. I would be much happier if there were lifetime driving bans for crimes like these.

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wtjs replied to geomannie 531 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Two cheers for the result IMHO

Well, I live in an area which would have imposed a much lesser penalty, or none at all if they could have got away with 'a momentary loss of concentration' or 'an accident'

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