Road rage farmer guilty

Date: Friday 18th January 2019

A FARMER has been found guilty of a “road rage” assault after throwing a cyclist and his bike on to a grass verge.

Kallum Eric Hunt (23), Braithwaite Shields, Ivegill, was driving a Massey Ferguson tractor when he became embroiled in an argument with cyclist Brett Preston on the road between Ivegill and Hutton-in-the-Forest on 18th July.

Hunt was charged with assaulting the cyclist, and causing criminal damage to his bike. He admitted causing the damage, but denied assaulting Mr Preston.

Prosecutor Miss Rachel Parker told Carlisle Magis-trates’ Court on Thursday the incident took place at around 10-20am as Hunt’s tractor overtook Mr Preston on his bike. Mr Preston felt the tractor, which had a spiked implement on the back, was too close to him and shouted at Hunt as he passed. Hunt then pulled in front, got out of his vehicle and confronted Mr Preston. Mr Preston told the court that as Hunt got out of his tractor he “knew he was in trouble”. “I could clearly tell he had completely lost his temper,” he said. He claimed Hunt threw his bike on to a verge and then grabbed him and threw him on to it as well before getting back in the tractor and driving off.

Hunt, who was not represented, denied there had been any physical contact between the two. He had been annoyed when the cyclist speeded up while he was trying to overtake. A vehicle was coming the other way and he had pulled in to avoid a collision. He conceded he had been close to Mr Preston, but said the cyclist could have braked.

District Judge Gerald Chalk said it had been a road rage offence and imposed a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. Hunt must pay £200 compensation and £600 costs.