WATCH: Man jailed after dashcam footage captures driver ploughing into cyclist in Colchester
- Credit: Archant
A man who deliberately drove his car at a cyclist during a hit-and-run collision in Colchester has been jailed for 16 months.
Lee O’Neill was cycling with his friend Stewart Nichols on North Station Road near Colchester station roundabout when he heard the screech of brakes behind him and turned to see a Ford Mondeo coming towards him, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Mr O’Neill was annoyed at the manner of driving and accepted making a gesture at the driver, said Sasha Bailey, prosecuting.
The car driver had then driven directly at Mr O’Neill causing him to fall off his custom-made £10,000 bike.
As a result of the incident, which was captured on a dashcam, Mr O’Neill was taken to hospital by ambulance and suffered pain to his spine, elbow and hip as well as bruising and grazes.
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“Thankfully the injuries were not more serious,” said Miss Bailey.
Seeing what had happened to his friend, who was lying by some railings, Mr Nichol threw his hands up in the air in dismay at the Mondeo driver who then accelerated towards him causing him to jump out of the way.
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The crash happened at around midday on Friday, May 13, 2016.
A police officer in the area managed to get the registration number of the Mondeo and the driver, Ashley Wallace Merrett, was subsequently arrested and interviewed by police.
He claimed Mr O’Neill had pulled out in front of him and he had tried not to hit him. He claimed he hadn’t stopped because he was concerned what Mr O’Neill’s friend would do to him.
Wallace Merrett, 30, of Mumford Close, West Bergholt, admitted dangerous driving, assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault.
He was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for two years and eight months.
Barry Gilbert for Wallace Merrett said his client’s behaviour was a “momentary loss of temper” after the cyclist made a gesture at him.
“In a fit of temper he went into him and knocked him off,” said Mr Gilbert.
He said his client, who is a mechanic, had no intention to cause Mr O’Neill serious harm and was “really sorry” for what happened.
“He’s glad the man wasn’t badly hurt,” said Mr Gilbert.