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Jail for thug who repeatedly punched cyclist – then friended him on Facebook

Court told that Danny Walsh shook victim’s hand and mopped up his blood once he realised he was being filmed

A Northamptonshire man who repeatedly punched a cyclist and put him in a chokehold, then added him as a friend on Facebook once he realised that footage of the incident would be sent to police, has been sent to jail.

Danny Walsh, aged 26, was jailed for one year and nine months this week for grievous bodily harm following the incident in Burton Latimer on 16 July last year, reports the Northamptonshire Telegraph.

The victim, left unconscious following the attack, was taken to hospital to be treated for facial wounds and still suffers from anxiety.

Northampton Crown Court heard that the cyclist had been riding ahead of the vehicle Walsh was travelling in as a passenger when he swerved to avoid a cat in the road.

Walsh then made offensive gestures at the cyclist as the driver overtook him.

Matthew Rowcliffe, prosecuting, said that when the rider saw the car parked on the roadside shortly afterwards, he began recording video on his mobile phone.

He and Walsh had an argument, with the latter getting out of the vehicle and repeatedly punching the cyclist, as well as putting him in a chokehold and asking him why he “had to be a big man” by recording what was happening.

But when the cyclist told Walsh that the footage he was recording would be sent to police, his assailant’s demeanour changed.

Mr Rowcliffe told the court that Walsh “shook the victim's hand and apologised,” then “took off his shirt and tried to mop up the blood."

“He said he could add the victim on Facebook and that they were mate,.” Mr Rowcliffe added. 

The court was told that Walsh subsequently friended the cyclist on Facebook, asking him why he had reported the incident to the police.

In mitigation and asking for a suspended sentence, Liam Muir told the court that Walsh – who has 14 previous convictions and is due to be sentenced on an unrelated matter next week – has mental health issues and had recently lost his job.

However, Judge Rupert Mayo said that he had “terrified the life out of” the victim, adding: “In my judgement this is a sentence that should not and cannot be suspended.”

The judge also imposed a restraining order on Walsh, preventing him from attempting to contact the victim.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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