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Road rage minibus driver who deliberately struck cyclist jailed for two years

The cyclist was hit after confronting the motorist about “cutting him up” at a set of traffic lights

A taxi driver has been jailed for two years after deliberately aiming an eight-seater minibus at a cyclist who had confronted him about his dangerous driving.

The BBC reports that 60-year-old Charles Yorston steered the minibus, which contained passengers at the time, at cyclist Andrew Learmonth as he drew level with the motorist’s window.

31-year-old prison officer Learmonth told Falkirk Sheriff Court that he approached the minibus as he believed that Yorston had “cut him up” at traffic lights in Grangemouth.

The driver admitted to hitting the rear of the taxi to get the motorist’s attention and that he shouted at him, to make the driver “aware of what he had done”. Learmonth claimed that as he drew level with Yorston, he noticed a “look of anger” in the driver’s eyes.

Passengers in the minibus said that the motorist swore at Learmonth, and then “jerked the wheel with an unnatural movement” towards the cyclist, striking him.

The force of the impact sent Leamonth flying to the side of the road, where he banged his head against the kerb, cracking his helmet and leaving him with a fractured right elbow as well as cuts and bruises.

Yorston was found guilty this week of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to two years in prison and banned from driving for four years.

The motorist, who denied the charge and insisted that he had not been trying to ‘scare’ the cyclist, was told in court that Mr Learmonth was “lucky not to be killed”.

Sheriff Derek Hamilton said that Yorston had shown no regard for the consequences of his actions and that “what you did was quite extraordinary. This was no accident”.

“It is fortunate that the consequences were not more tragic,” Hamilton continued.

“This could easily have resulted in a fatality.”

> “Red mist” driver who deliberately drove at cyclist escapes jail and driving ban

In January we reported on a similar incident in Derby, where a motorist deliberately drove at a cyclist after the “red mist” descended on him when the rider banged on his vehicle during a close pass.

However, on that occasion the motorist – who pleaded guilty to common assault – was given a suspended prison sentence and avoided a driving ban, as the judge believed it would lead to the driver losing his job.

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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