Driver convicted after road rage drama
AN IRATE driver who deliberately shunted another vehicle from behind during a road rage incident has narrowly escaped a prison sentence.Roger Hartley was found guilty of hitting the rear of 18-year-old Timothy Stone's Renault Clio, after the teenager overtook him along the A143 road between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.
AN IRATE driver who deliberately shunted another vehicle from behind during a road rage incident has narrowly escaped a prison sentence.
Roger Hartley was found guilty of hitting the rear of 18-year-old Timothy Stone's Renault Clio, after the teenager overtook him along the A143 road between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds.
The force of the crash caused Hartley's Land Rover to go over Mr Stone's bumper and crash into the boot of the car.
Magistrates sitting in Bury St Edmunds yesterday ruled that Hartley, 57, from Roost End in Sturmer, near Haverhill, would not be sent to prison due to his previous “good character”, but ordered the IT engineer to pay £300 compensation to Mr Stone, who suffered “stress and fright” as a result of the incident on June 30.
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He has also been disqualified from driving for 12 months, given a 250-hour community punishment order, and made to pay £150 towards court costs.
Mr Stone overtook Hartley's vehicle in the 60mph zone outside Chedburgh, near Bury.
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Hartley then pulled up close behind Mr Stone's car as the pair entered the village, which has a 30mph speed limit.
He shunted the frightened youngster, who pulled over to the side of the road but was then hit from behind by the Land Rover.
Speaking at Hartley's trial on November 10, Mr Stone said: “I could see the Land Rover coming up behind me quickly. It got so close it was a matter of inches away from my bumper. He backed off and then came close again repeatedly, and then he came back and nudged me enough to jolt the car. As I stopped, I looked over my shoulder and he put his foot down and smashed straight into the back of me. I was very shaken up after the accident. I just didn't know what to do at the time. A lot happened in a very short space in time and to this day I don't know why it happened.”
Magistrate Jim Spencer said: “We have found this to be an extremely serious offence that caused the victim much stress and fright. But we believe this incident was out of character, which is supported by Mr Hartley's past good record of driving and good character, so we will not be imposing a custodial sentence.”