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Driver who reversed into cyclists before calling them "English bastards" banned from driving

Gareth Jones, 71, was banned from driving for 15 months after being convicted of dangerous driving, failure to stop, and racially aggravated harassment

A driver who deliberately reversed into a group of cyclists before calling them "English bastards" and telling them to "go back to England" has been banned from driving for 15 months.

Gareth Jones was last month convicted of dangerous driving, failure to stop, and racially aggravated harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, having originally pleaded not guilty to all three charges at Caernarforn Magistrates' Court.

Yesterday, he reappeared back at the Magistrates' Court to be sentenced, receiving a 15-month driving ban, a six-month community order with one condition of a curfew to stay at home between 7pm and 7am, as well as a £155 fine for the racially aggravated harassment.

The 71-year-old must also pay £360 towards costs, a £95 surcharge, and must take an extended driving test before he is allowed to drive again.

Jones represented himself at the sentencing hearing, telling magistrates: "I apologise about this offence. I now realise that I have been found guilty by the court and I have done wrong."

The incident happened on a country road near Beaumaris on Anglesey last July as the group of cyclists rode towards Llandegfan. 

Clare Bate, prosecuting, said the group "had to take evasive action to avoid being struck" when Jones overtook them in his Kia Sportage.

One of the riders, Valentin Scambraks, asked the driver, "What the hell are you doing?" To which Jones replied: "You're not Welsh. You're an English bastard."

The driver then reversed into the group, his rear bumper hitting the bike belonging to Mr Scambraks.

Another rider told the court that Jones had said, "Go back to England" to which Mr Scambraks replied: "I'm from the Netherlands, I’m not English."

The second rider, Tiernan Ryan, told the court the motorist "purposefully reversed to try to intimidate us."

Jones, who also represented himself at the trial, said he was met by a "gang" of cyclists "spread out across the road", and denied calling the group "English bastards".

"I might have called him an English snob," he said, before insisting photos taken at the scene by a passing couple were staged and the bike had been pushed into his vehicle as he was being verbally abused by the cyclists.

Ahead of his sentencing, Jones' probation officer said that the driver accepts the verdict but maintained in an interview that the group "ganged up" on him.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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22 comments

Avatar
FrankH | 1 year ago
1 like

A 15 month ban? He'd have been better off just driving into them and claiming the sun was in his eyes.

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chadders | 1 year ago
1 like

Good job they didn't need DNA it identify the culprit as there would have been 65000 suspects on Anglesey!

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exilegareth replied to chadders | 1 year ago
3 likes

Oh sweetie, do grow up. Incest jokes about others are so last year.

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dawguk replied to exilegareth | 1 year ago
1 like
exilegareth wrote:

Oh sweetie, do grow up. Incest jokes about others are so last year.

So is baiting someone by calling them sweetie. Being a keyboard warrior isn't cool in any direction.

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NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

Great to see a selfish and dangerous driver get a fair punishment but It is worrying that the law cannot differentiate between xenophobia and racism. 

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JustTryingToGet... replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

Why is that a worry?

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NOtotheEU replied to JustTryingToGetFromAtoB | 1 year ago
1 like

So you can't imagine any circumstance at all where being convicted of a crime you didn't commit would be worrying?

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JustTryingToGet... replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
6 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

So you can't imagine any circumstance at all where being convicted of a crime you didn't commit would be worrying?

I can't imagine any circumstances when legislating separately to account for the nuances between xenophobia and racism would be an advantage given the current legislation captures well the evils of both.

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stomec replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
6 likes
NOtotheEU wrote:

Great to see a selfish and dangerous driver get a fair punishment but It is worrying that the law cannot differentiate between xenophobia and racism. 

Hmm a new user name with a silly sentiment and factually incorrect - you are Nigel and I claim my £5

Anyhoo, according to the CPS, "The Act says a "racial group" means a "group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins."

He was not charged with racism so your comment is meaningless.  

 

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brooksby replied to stomec | 1 year ago
1 like
stomec wrote:

Hmm a new user name with a silly sentiment and factually incorrect - you are Nigel and I claim my £5

I don't think that Nige ever sets up new accounts - they just change their username once the ban wears off and hope that nobody notices.

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Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

I don't think that Nige ever sets up new accounts - they just change their username once the ban wears off and hope that nobody notices.

I think he's been rumbled on that one though, I was trying to find an old comment of mine yesterday and realised that all of his comments, under whatever alias, have disappeared from the website; you can see them when they are quoted in other people's replies, but all original comments have gone, so one assumes that at long last mods have deleted his account.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes

He does when he "intentionally asks for Road.CC to delete his account" as must have happened in this case. Hopefully, if this is Boo again, they are a bit more on the ball with banning previously banned users. I wonder if they do IP Address logging to confirm it. 

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NOtotheEU replied to stomec | 1 year ago
1 like

 

[/quote]

According to the CPS, "The Act says a "racial group" means a "group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins."

He was not charged with racism so your comment is meaningless.  

 

[/quote]

Well, I've learnt something new today, I did not previously know the legal meaning of racial group.

He was charged with racially aggravated harrassment, I'm not sure how that could be considered anything other than 'racism'? Not that my opinion makes any difference to the law as it stands but I still think there is a huge difference between shouting a rude remark about what part of the UK you are from and considering another human of being worth less than you because of their skin colour. One is rude and one is evil. I don't believe for a minute the man drove into the cyclists because they were (he thought) from England. He drove into them because he thought being in a car gave him right to treat cyclist however he wanted.

Finally, no comment is meaningless if the writer genuinely feels that way and isn't just trolling, . . . . .  and who is Nigel?

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yupiteru | 1 year ago
3 likes

Banned from driving?  Ever been to Anglesey?  He most likely will keep driving and he most likely will get away with it, as long as he drives mainly on the island. 

This is the land that time forgot.

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grumpyoldcyclist replied to yupiteru | 1 year ago
1 like

Yes I've been.
It's a beautiful place and runs the fabulous Tour de Mon.
I'm sure there are many more banned drivers in England (for example) that continue driving than there are in Anglesey. I think North Wales Police should be applauded for their action in trying to make roads safer., however, you seem to be mocking the place and the police.
Have a complacent day.

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Simon E | 1 year ago
5 likes

I'm glad that he will require an extended retest before he can drive (legally) again. That should happen more often.

The Post article states that he "denied dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident. He also pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour" but was found guilty on all 3 counts.

Fair play to North Wales police and the court for taking the allegations seriously (though would it have been the same if it was only the cyclists' word against his?).

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
4 likes

It was a pretty bizarre case but I'm glad he's received a suitable punishment. 

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brooksby | 1 year ago
9 likes
Quote:

Jones represented himself at the sentencing hearing, telling magistrates: "I apologise about this offence. I now realise that I have been found guilty by the court and I have done wrong."

Quote:

Ahead of his sentencing, Jones' probation officer said that the driver accepts the verdict but maintained in an interview that the group "ganged up" on him.

So he still doesn't actually believe that he did anything wrong... 

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
9 likes

I do wonder if this fine gentleman has any prior convictions. 

Sounds charming.

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nosferatu1001 replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
3 likes

15 months is longer than the normal tariff. Maybe the racism added 25% up,fit?

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
7 likes
Quote:

I now realise that I have been found guilty by the court and I have done wrong ... maintained in an interview that the group "ganged up" on him.

Attitudes underlie actions. His realisation that he has "done wrong" is only by logical deduction given that he has been found guilty. It sounds very much like he does not actually accept any wrongdoing, so perhaps he needs a longer period of reflection - until he accepts and owns his wrongdoing - before he can be judged safe to drive again.

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IanMSpencer replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

The question he needs to ask himself is what circumstances created the scenario where he believed they ganged up on him - him being secure in his tin box and then reversing into them. After all, if he is ahead in the car, at what point did reversing become a suitable defensive action?

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