Work order for road rage cyclist

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An enraged cyclist who suffered a broken nose when he was knocked off his bike by a motorist retaliated by punching the woman.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court, James Davidson, 38, was yesterday ordered to perform 270 hours of unpaid work in the community. Davidson of Galloway Crescent, Broxburn, had pleaded guilty previously to assaulting Diane McKain to her severe injury and permanent impairment in Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, on May 24 last year.

Fiscal depute, Michelle Young, said Ms McKain had just passed the Gogar Roundabout, driving in the nearside lane. At the same time, Davidson had cycled through the underpass and was in the offside lane. He then moved in front of Ms McKain’s red Golf.

“The accused turned around and started swearing at Ms McKain with hand gestures and shouting,” said the fiscal.

Ms McKain drove round the cyclist and heard a bump as she drove past. She looked in her rear view mirror and saw he had fallen to the ground. Realising she might have hit the cyclist, she pulled over and went to see how he was.

Ms Young said Ms McKain’s position was that if she struck the cyclist it was not deliberate. She added, however, that other witnesses spoke of the car swerving towards the cyclist.

Davidson walked up to the motorist and continued to swear at her. He then struck her on the head. Ms McKain had an immediate sensation of loss of hearing. She was later found to have a perforated eardrum and mild hearing loss.

Ms Young said that, following the incident, police had appealed for witnesses. They received a number of calls through Crimestoppers, naming Davidson as the cyclist and he was arrested on April 18.

Davidson’s defence solicitor, Robbie Burnett, told Sheriff Neil Mackinnon: “Clearly he was provoked in this situation and made the mistake of engaging with the complainer instead of contacting the police. This was a momentary loss of control, but understandable in the circumstances.”

Mr Burnett added: “The difficulty I have is the fact that the complainer has not been prosecuted in any way. Quite clearly what happened was either assault or dangerous driving.”

This had been spoken to, he said, by other witnesses. The driver and passenger of a car, who stopped after seeing the incident, spoke of the cyclist indicating he was moving into the left lane. They both said the car had not let the cyclist in at first, but when it did, the car “deliberately swerved and knocked the cyclist off his bike”.

Sentencing Davidson, Sheriff Mackinnon said it was accepted that knocking the cyclist off his bike had not been deliberate.

He told Davidson there was no excuse for his behaviour.