A road rage driver who followed a cyclist before deliberately knocking the rider off their bike has avoided a jail sentence at Sheffield Crown Court.
Tanveer Ahmed was handed a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation by Judge Richardson after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The Sheffield Star reports Ahmed's behaviour was described as "deplorable" by the judge, who heard the motorist had reacted to the cyclist hitting his wing mirror by following the rider and "flinging him onto the tarmac".
However, the judge acknowledged there was an "element of provocation" due to a photograph showing damage to the wing mirror, and said he had "escaped prison by a very narrow margin".
The cyclist was left with an injury to his right shin that needed four stitches, a back injury and grazes, following the incident on 8 August 2019.
His bike, worth £7,000, was damaged beyond repair, and the court heard it cost £10,839.80 to buy a replacement of the same specification.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how prior to the assault the cyclist and Ahmed crossed paths while driving along Sharrow Vale Road where the victim went around the driver as he "thought he had right of way".
"He [the cyclist] thought he had right of way and went around Mr Ahmed […] he then realised Mr Ahmed was driving right up behind him, driving six inches away from his back," prosecutor Tom Heath explained.
The 39-year-old motorist revved his engine at the cyclist before the rider then followed the driver as they travelled in the same direction along a one-way street.
While stopped in traffic at the Hunter's Bar roundabout the cyclist saw Ahmed's vehicle and "tapped" his wing mirror, according to Mr Heath.
Ahmed claimed the cyclist had "smashed" his wing mirror, an allegation to which prosecuting barrister Mr Heath confirmed: "In fairness to the defendant, there is a photograph which shows damage to the wing mirror."
"The cyclist carried on and the lights changed and Mr Ahmed came past and was revving his engine again," Mr Heath continued, explaining how the cyclist had turned into Neill Road to escape the driver.
"He tried to get in between two parked cars, and as he did, he saw Ahmed drive into the back of his bike, flinging him on to the tarmac."
Ahmed fled the scene as members of the public stopped to help the injured cyclist, but was arrested two hours after the incident, and claimed in police interview that the rider had been the "aggressor".
In a statement read to the court, the cyclist said he no longer "takes the same level of enjoyment" in cycling, saying the back injury hinders his ability to ride a bike and play with his daughter.
Despite pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, probation officer Linda McCuish told the court that in Ahmed's pre-sentence report he stressed the cyclist "was cycling in the middle of the road".
"He said that at the time he was having some family concerns and said he was feeling shocked by what had happened during this altercation," Linda McCuish said.
Judge Richardson described Ahmed's actions as "disgraceful", "deplorable" and amounted to "road rage", before telling the defendant he had "escaped prison by a very narrow margin", but had he pleaded not guilty then he would have received jail time.
In addition to his suspended sentence and being ordered to pay £1,000 compensation, Ahmed was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work, a three-month curfew and 10 sessions of rehabilitation activity.
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.