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Driver convicted after reversing into cyclists and calling them “English bastards”

Gareth Jones will be sentenced next month regarding incident near Beaumaris on Anglesey last year

A driver who reversed into a group of cyclists then called them “English bastards” as he drove away has been convicted by a court in Wales of dangerous driving, failure to stop, and racially aggravated harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

Gareth Jones. Aged 71, pleaded not guilty at Caernarforn Magistrates’ Court to all three charges, reports Wales Online.

The incident happened on an unclassified road near Beaumaris on Anglesey last summer as the cyclists headed towards Llandegfan.

Clare Bate, prosecuting, said that the bike riders “had to take evasive action to avoid being struck” when Jones overtook them in his Kia Sportage.

The rider leading the group, Valentin Scambraks aked Jones, “What the hell are you doing?”

In response Jones stopped, and told Mr Scambraks: “You're not Welsh. You're an English bastard.”

Jones then drove forward briefly before reversing into the group, with his vehicle’s rear bumper hitting the bike belonging to Mr Scambraks.

One of the riders, Tiernan Ryan, told the court that Jones had said, “Go back to England,” in response to which Mr Scambraks replied: “I'm from the Netherlands, I’m not English’.”

According to Mr Ryan, the motorist “purposefully reversed to try to intimidate us.”

Another rider, Will Holloway, said that “it was an uncomfortable speed to be reversing towards some people.”

Jones, who represented himself, told the court that he had been heading to Ysbyty Gwtynnedd to see his brother and that he had not been speeding on the road, which he had regularly driven along.

He claimed that as he rounded a bend, he encountered a “gang” of riders whom he described as “spread out across the road.”

He also insisted that photos taken at the scene by a couple who were out walking and which had been shared with the cyclists were staged, that the bike had been pushed into his vehicle, and that he had been verbally abused by the cyclists.

Under cross-examination,  he denied having called Mr Scambraks “an English bastard,” conceding that “I might have called him an English snob.”

But he said: “How would you feel if someone called you a Welsh bastard? I would feel aggrieved.

"I'm Welsh. I'm proud to be Welsh and they verbally abused me," he added.

Jones was convicted on all three charges and will be sentenced next month. In the meantime has been handed a temporary driving ban.

Simon joined road.cc 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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46 comments

Avatar
Organon | 1 year ago
0 likes

I prefer Hamster/Elderberry hybrid.

Avatar
danthomascyclist | 1 year ago
5 likes

Imagine living in some of the most peaceful and scenic parts of the UK and still having this much bottled anger

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Rik Mayals unde... | 2 years ago
3 likes

Would the cyclists be justified in calling him a sheep shagger then?

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chrisonabike replied to Rik Mayals underpants | 1 year ago
3 likes
biker phil wrote:

Would the cyclists be justified in calling him a sheep shagger then?

Only if he was involved in styling their fleeces into an artistically tangled style. Or engaging in carnal intercourse with them.

Avatar
mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like
Quote:

failure to stop racially aggravated harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

Is that a failure to prevent someone using threats and abuse to racially harass people, or a failure to use threats and abuse to prevent someone committing racial harassment?

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David9694 | 2 years ago
5 likes

Boomer from Boomerville.

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Captain Badger | 2 years ago
22 likes

"He who represents himself has a fool for a client"

Not sure if that's universally true, but it's very apt in this instance

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Wingguy replied to Captain Badger | 1 year ago
4 likes
Captain Badger wrote:

"He who represents himself has a fool for a client" Not sure if that's universally true, but it's very apt in this instance

Hehe yes for sure. I was particularly tickled by this statement "But he said: “How would you feel if someone called you a Welsh bastard? I would feel aggrieved."

Because isn't that exactly the point the prosecution was making?

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quiff replied to Wingguy | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's not entirely clear from the report above, but I understood him to be alleging that they actually called him a Welsh bastard, that he was aggrieved and that he responded, rather than it being a hypothetical question to the prosecution. 

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jaymack replied to Captain Badger | 1 year ago
2 likes

As something of an old lag, I can confirm that the 'fool for a client' assertion is completely true.

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Captain Badger replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
0 likes
jaymack wrote:

As something of an old lag, I can confirm that the 'fool for a client' assertion is completely true.

sounds like there's a story or two behind that post!

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geomannie 531 | 2 years ago
14 likes

Racially aggravated harassment & hatred of cyclists. Nice fellow

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Mybike replied to geomannie 531 | 2 years ago
3 likes

Only the English ones

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the little onion replied to Mybike | 2 years ago
5 likes

Or in this case, dutch

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Simon E replied to Mybike | 2 years ago
2 likes
Mybike wrote:

Only the English ones

I know English people who have lived there for decades. Due to the uni & hospital in Bangor, the tourist appeal of Snowdonia and the coast and the busy ferry terminal at Holyhead, this area has significant in-migration so the cyclists could easily have been local residents. I usually go out riding on Anglesey when I'm there so will try to keep an eye out for a white Kia Sportage.

geomannie 531 wrote:

Racially aggravated harassment

Would it be xenophobic rather than racial if they are all white?

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Rendel Harris replied to Simon E | 2 years ago
7 likes

He was found guilty of racially aggravated harrassment, so I assume reference to nationality counts the same as race under the law?

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zero_trooper replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes

'English' is/are a race, hence racial harassment.

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Rich_cb replied to zero_trooper | 2 years ago
5 likes

Race is an entirely social construct.

It can mean whatever you want it to mean!

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 1 year ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Race is an entirely social construct. It can mean whatever you want it to mean!

Aren't "constructs" a construct though?

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Captain Badger replied to zero_trooper | 2 years ago
3 likes
zero_trooper wrote:

'English' is/are a race, ......

Really? How does one qualify?

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chrisonabike replied to zero_trooper | 1 year ago
6 likes
zero_trooper wrote:

'English' is/are a race, hence racial harassment.

Are a group of TT riders a race? Asking for a fiend...

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
3 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
zero_trooper wrote:

'English' is/are a race, hence racial harassment.

Are a group of TT riders a race? Asking for a fiend...

I saw what you did there...

Avatar
mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
4 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
zero_trooper wrote:

'English' is/are a race, hence racial harassment.

Are a group of TT riders a race? Asking for a fiend...

No - it's a disqualification.

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TheBillder replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
2 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:

Are a group of TT riders a race? Asking for a fiend...

IS a group... Correcting for a licensed door mirror.

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chrisonabike replied to TheBillder | 1 year ago
0 likes
TheBillder wrote:
chrisonatrike wrote:

Are a group of TT riders a race? Asking for a fiend...

IS a group... Correcting for a licensed door mirror.

Beetlejuice.

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brooksby replied to zero_trooper | 1 year ago
3 likes
zero_trooper wrote:

'English' is/are a race, hence racial harassment.

I'm not convinced about that.

"English" can mean "my ancestors came over from France a thousand years ago" or "my parents came over from France the year before I was born and took up British citizenship".

It can mean "my ancestors were brought here from Africa in the eighteenth century and their descendants have lived here ever since" or it can mean "my parents came here in the nineteen sixties and I was born here".

It can mean "my dad was from Caerphilly, my mum is from Edinburgh, but I grew up in London and have always lived here".

It can even mean "I paid a huge amount of money to the Government so now hold a British passport".

I'm not convinced that nationality or even declared nationality are the same thing as race.

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

He was found guilty of racially aggravated harrassment, so I assume reference to nationality counts the same as race under the law?

I understand that the racial identity of the victim does not have to be demonstrated, rather whether the act of harassment was motivated by bias around race as the accused perceives it.

For once Rich below is correct, there are no objective definitions of race, only subjective and cultural meanings and inferences.

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brooksby replied to Captain Badger | 1 year ago
5 likes
Captain Badger wrote:

I understand that the racial identity of the victim does not have to be demonstrated, rather whether the act of harassment was motivated by bias around race as the accused perceives it.

I can add something to that.

A few years ago (pre-Covid when I dressed smartly to come to the office) I was walking in Bristol city centre on my lunch break.

Wearing a dark grey three-piece suit, shirt and tie, black overcoat and a black hat (if it matters, I have a beard and glasses).

Three man walking past me, then stopped and shouted at me about "F-ing Jews!" (and I mean properly in-yer-face about it).

So, given that I am not Jewish, was that antisemitic harassment?

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mdavidford replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
10 likes
brooksby wrote:

Wearing a dark grey three-piece suit, shirt and tie, black overcoat and a black hat (if it matters, I have a beard and glasses).

Are you a spy?

Avatar
Captain Badger replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
7 likes
mdavidford wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Wearing a dark grey three-piece suit, shirt and tie, black overcoat and a black hat (if it matters, I have a beard and glasses).

Are you a spy?

Nah a hipster. He probably had an avocado under the hat

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