Road rage driver had a knife, court is told

A DRIVER for the disabled threatened a motorist with a knife during a road rage incident in Alfreton, a court was told.

Victim Paul Bryan was parked on Church Street on February 7, waiting to collect his partner, when a minibus driven by Ian McLaughlin pulled up in front of his car.

Magistrates at Chesterfield were told McLaughlin flashed his lights, indicating for Mr Bryan to move, but he stayed put.

McLaughlin helped a passenger in a wheelchair to get off the Peugeot minibus and then tapped on Mr Bryan’s car window.

“Mr Bryan said he hadn’t realised and he tried to apologise and the defendant said: ‘You’ll move next time or I’ll cut your throat’. He had a knife in his left hand,” said Mike Treharne, prosecuting.

McLaughlin, 46, drove away and Mr Bryan noted the registration number and called police, who traced the minibus to Ripley-based People’s Mobility Network.

“They found he was employed as a taxi or bus driver and a check showed that he was a disqualified driver and he had deceived his employers by showing them a duplicate driving licence.

“His employers said he had been driving their vehicles since December 5 and he had received £3,198 in wages,” said Mr Treharne, adding that a lock-knife with a three-inch blade, used during the offence, was found under a passenger seat in the minibus.

McLaughin was arrested and told police he had been having “a manic day” and his behaviour was “way over the top”. He had intended to intimidate Mr Bryan but not harm him.

He stated that his partner was a trustee for the mobility organisation and was unaware that he had been disqualified last August for a drink-driving offence.

McLaughlin, formerly of Beech Drive, Findern, near Derby, and now of Station Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, admitted charges of using threatening behaviour, possessing a blade in public, fraud, and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Magistrates decided their sentencing powers were insufficient and committed him to be dealt with by a judge at Derby Crown Court on March 21.

“He accepts his behaviour was nothing short of abhorrent,” said Joe Harvey, for McLaughlin.

“He worked to earn the money and there was no loss to the employers other than they were exposed to a risk which they were unaware of, he told magistrates.”