A tailgating lorry driver who pushed over an elderly cyclist breaking his leg has been jailed for one year.
Richard Payne (66) pushed the 74-year-old man off his bike in Station Road, March in June this year after accusing him of making an offensive gesture at him as the cyclist let the lorry past.
Today (Tuesday) Payne was jailed for 12 months at a hearing at Peterborough Crown Court.
Judge Sean Enright told him ‘every road user is entitled to use the road way - it is not confined to those with an engine. Horse and bike riders have equal entitlement,’ adding he would have liked to jail him for longer than the one year sentence he imposed.
Charles Snelling, prosecuting, said: “On June 27 at about 5pm the victim was cycling along Station Road in March. He had consumed two pints of beer but was not intoxicated.
“The defendant, a self employed haulage driver was coming back to the depot from Epping in a large HGV with a trailer.
“Every road user is entitled to use the road way - it is not confined to those with an engine. Horse and bike riders have equal entitlement.”Judge Sean Enright
“The victim had mirrors on his bike, and could see how close the lorry was behind him, and that the lorry was trying to get past.
“The cyclist pulled over at a junction on Elm Road and waved the lorry past.
“The defendant then pulled in right in front of the victim, causing him to stop.
“He got out of his cab, and walked over to him.”
Mr Snelling said the defendant then asked the cyclist why he had made an offensive gesture, before using both hands to push him over.
Mr Snelling said: “The man was still straddling the bike. He could not get up because of the pain in his left leg. He had a broken femur, which required surgery to fix. He now has a pin inserted in the leg, which will remain in place permanently.
“The victim also had an underlying heart condition, and needed time in the critical care unit in hospital as there was concern over his heart rate. The condition could have been life threatening, but it was stabilised.”
Payne had walked away from the victim after pushing him, and driven off. However, he was arrested later.
David Corbino, defending, said Payne, of Whittlesey Road, March, had no previous convictions recorded against him, and had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.
He said: “This was a single push, and there was no intent to cause injury.
“He showed deep remorse, and this is an isolated incident. He has lead an exemplary life. He is 66 years old, and has no previous convictions.
“He made admissions in the police station.
“He has been a lorry driver for more than 40 years, and this is completely out of character. He is not likely to appear before the court again.”
Judge Enright said the incident had been witnessed by another motorist, who had also been tailgated by Payne that day.
He added there was no suggestion of any improper action by the cyclist and said: “Every road user is entitled to use the road way - it is not confined to those with an engine. Horse and bike riders have equal entitlement.
“It can be very intimidating for riders to be tailgated in this way and to be overtaken at speed.
“A cyclist has no way out when a motorist pulls over and starts an altercation.”
The judge said he had taken into account Payne’s good character, his guilty plea, the lack of pre-med ita ti on in the attack and the remorse he had shown.
But passing the sentence he said: “This is a course of action I consider to be on the short side.”
Payne showed no emotion as he was taken down to the cells to start his sentence.
He had previously pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He was also ordered to pay a £900 criminal courts charge and a £100 victim surcharge.