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Ipswich: Man cleared of dangerous driving over emergency stop claims

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 January 2013

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A MOTORIST accused of deliberately performing an emergency stop in front of a motorbike ridden by an Apache helicopter instructor who suffered multiple injuries in the collision has been cleared of dangerous driving.

Sam Iam, 33, of Berners Street, Ipswich, was alleged to have slammed on his brakes at a roundabout in Wherstead Road on May 26, causing Sergeant Major Andrew Farmer, who is based at Wattisham, to crash into the back of him.

Iam pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and was cleared after a short trial at Ipswich Crown Court. He also denied failing to stop after an accident and a not guilty verdict was entered on the court record after the prosecution offered no evidence on the charge.

During the trial Robert Sadd, prosecuting, claimed the collision followed two occasions when Iam and Sgt Maj Farmer made gestures and exchanged confrontational words with each other.

He claimed that Iam had been irritated by Sgt Maj Farmer and had slammed his brakes on at a roundabout causing Mr Farmer to go into the back of him.

The court heard that the incident started at the roundabout in Greyfriars Road, opposite the Novotel, when Iam believed Sgt Maj Farmer had attempted to ride past him.

It was alleged Iam then made hand gestures and shouted at Sgt Maj Farmer, who has been in the army for 24 years, after the pair came to a stop on Stoke Bridge.

They travelled along Wherstead Road and Sgt Maj Farmer rode alongside Iam, made gestures and swore at him.

After getting to the roundabout in Wherstead Road, Iam drove off in his white VW Golf and Sgt Maj Farmer drove off a few seconds later.

It was claimed Iam “slammed” on his brakes causing Sgt Maj Farmer to crash into the back of the car and fall from his bike, ending up just beneath the car.

The instructor, who has served in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, suffered whiplash, bruising to his right upper body and damage to his wrist.

Gavin Burrell, defending, said Iam believed Sgt Maj Farmer was going to attempt to overtake him on the roundabout in Wherstead Road, which may have caused him to perform an emergency stop.

He said: “He [Iam] thought there was going to be a dangerous manoeuvre so as a consequence, he put his foot on the brake.”

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