A road-rage driver knocked a motorcyclist off his bike after a dispute at a newsagent’s shop.
Derby Crown Court recently heard how motorist Stephen Willsher and the motorcyclist had been involved in an altercation over a wallet in a newsagent’s.
The 63-year-old defendant set off in his MG sports car followed by the biker who claimed Willsher deliberately braked so he pulled alongside Willsher’s car and started swearing.
Willsher subsequently steered into the motorcycle’s path causing the biker to fall and be “dragged across the carriageway” after the incident on Far Laund, in Belper.
Judge Jonathan Bennett told Willsher that he must have been very angry because of the earlier altercation with the rider in a newsagent’s and that carried on into the street.
He said: “You responded by pulling right across the carriageway.
“He was knocked down and dragged across the carriageway by you.
“An independent witness checked that the motorcyclist was all right because he though at first he could have been killed.
“Fortunately, the injuries were relatively minor, however you still used your car as a weapon in what was a split second foolish decision.”
Lucy Jones, prosecuting, said following the argument over a wallet in the newsagent’s, Willsher left and started to drive off and was then pursued by the motorcyclist.
She added: “The victim says the defendant braked suddenly so he pulled alongside his window and started to shout at him.”
The rider swore at him and said he would smash his head in, according to Ms Jones.
Ms Jones added: “He went to pull away when the defendant pulled across him knocking him from the bike.”
Willsher, of Jubilee Court, Belper, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after the incident on March 13.
Nicholas Burn, mitigating, said Willsher was a quiet, gentleman who lives a quiet life and that the incident was out of character.
Mr Burn added: “Immediately after it happened the witness overheard the defendant say ‘I can’t believe I have done something like this’.
“There was a high degree of provocation towards Mr Willsher by the rider and although he suffered injuries they were thankfully minor.
“My client’s daughter, who sits in court, said it took her father six weeks to confide to the family what had happened and what he had done.”
Judge Bennett sentenced Willsher to three-months of custody suspended for a year with 60 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay a £1,000 fine, £340 costs and a £115 victim surcharge and was banned from driving for one year.