A driver who stamped on the head of a female cyclist who had stopped by the roadside with her boyfriend after his tyre punctured has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
Preston Crown Court was told that David Hayton, aged 37 and from Lancaster, assaulted the male cyclist before punching the woman and stamping on her head as she lay on the ground.
The pair sustained bruising and facial injuries as a result of the incident on New Quay Road in Lancaster on the afternoon of 19 April last year, reports the Lancashire Post.
Hayton, who has past convictions for violent offences, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm and common assault.
Charles Brown, prosecuting, said: “While they were stationary there the defendant, also coming in the same direction, pulled over and stopped in front of them.
“He then got out of the driver's seat and started shouting straight away.”
Hayton began punching the male cyclist despite the female rider urging him to leave them alone, and when she tried to pull him away, she accidentally tore his t-shirt.
At that point, said Mr Brown, Hayton “transferred his attention to her. He punched her to the head then either punched or pushed her and she fell to the ground. Her head was close to the pavement.
“The defendant was standing over her and he stamped upon her head.”
Part of the assault was filmed by a jogger on her phone, who called the police. Meanwhile, Hayton had driven off but came back to the scene with his partner, with another fight breaking out.
Sentencing Hayton, Judge Robert Altham, Honorary Recorder of Preston, told him: “You were apparently irritated by something that had happened and got out of the car.
“What then followed was, I'm sure you will agree, an extremely ugly incident, where you set about verbally then physically berating these two very young people.
“You do need to understand the physical consequences could have been very grave indeed.”
The judge pointed out that cases before the court often involve “permanent and utterly debilitating brain injury and sometimes death” caused by a blow or kick to the head.
“You need to reflect on your conduct as to what could have happened in this case,” he told Hayton, adding, “Happily the injury in this case was relatively slight.”
The judge jailed Hayton for 18 weeks, suspended for two years, and ordered him to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work and participate in a probation programme.
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.