Devon parish councillor James Atkinson fined £140 and given eight points after admitting careless driving

The Devon parish councillor who forced four riders off the road before flicking the middle finger at them has been fined £140 and given eight penalty points on his licence.

James Atkinson admitted careless driving after the incident, in which two of the cyclists were injured, which occurred on the B3193 in the Teign Valley.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker told the court that the cyclists were riding single file at around 25mph when Atkinson tried to overtake them on a blind corner. When he saw a car coming the other way, Atkinson reportedly veered towards the riders and they ended up in a hedge and on the road.

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When the riders attempted to speak to Atkinson after the incident, the councillor simply gave them the middle finger and reportedly swore at them.

Atkinson reportedly showed no remorse for his actions, claiming the cyclists were riding four abreast when he talked to police after the incident.

“We were riding single file along that road which is one of the few flat roads we can use. We ride 200 miles a week and we are experienced riders,” said one of the riders, hair salon boss Rob Peirce, talking to the Exeter Express and Echo.

“One of the injured riders was a stranger who suffered a head injury. An ambulance was called for him.

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“My friend Jason Acreman was also hurt. He hasn’t been cycling since because of the emotional effect it has had on him.

“Atkinson’s driving was the most aggressive extreme driving we have ever encountered.

“In my opinion he is going to kill or seriously injure someone. His attitude was outrageous.

“I am not surprised he has received a slap on the wrist. But he should have been banned – you get a stiffer penalty if you break the speed limit on the motorway than nearly killing two people on their bikes.”

  • EB

    Your opinion on me is very highly rated. Why wouldn’t it be. You are after all most brilliant.

    If you look at the order of the posts you will see that you initiated this because you wanted to ‘correct’ something I said.

    You: “Err, have you read the report?”

  • Andy Whitehead

    But you score highly on self-importance and pomposity. Do you spend all your life correcting people you feel to be wrong on the internet ?

  • EB

    Sadly, as well as lacking insight into your overwhelming brilliance, I lack your psychic powers too

  • Andy Whitehead

    You do realise that half the internet is giggling at you don’t you ?

  • EB

    I get your point in its entirety. It just isn’t a very good one. Just because you think you are brilliant and know exactly what happened does not mean either are true.

    1) it hadn’t been said when giving evidence under oath (told to police officer after crash as clearly stated in the article). He could have been given the opportunity to lie under oath and the cross examination would have been revealing. The punishment for perjury and making a fool of himself under oath would hopefully have been greater than the minor punishment he got.
    2) even if it did need to be denied there was no need to say they were in single file. They could have said they were not riding four abreast and not specified a number.
    3) it wasn’t at all plausible and so didn’t need to be countered at all. If he had said he was dodging the beam from a UFO they would not have needed to say there was no UFO.

    You are welcome to return took your self-perceived brilliance. I however do not agree with your point.

  • Andy Whitehead

    You just don’t get it, do you ?

  • EB

    In your personal opinion. In my opinion it is irrelevent, because it is so clearly impossible that anyone would have known it was nonsense without them needing to spell something else out.

  • Andy Whitehead

    Err, have you read the report ? The councillor claimed they were riding 4-abreast, that will be why the prosecution said they were actually riding single-file…

  • ReturnOfTheWazz

    Bet he was a UKIP guy.

  • NitroFan

    Politicians and lawyers always look out for one and other, in the process they devalue justice and the law.

  • The Awakening

    Just read the article in the Exeter Express & Echo. I noted these couple of sentences, which I C&P;

    “Atkinson, of Bridford, Devon, showed no remorse and in a police interview he tried to blame the riders for being four abreast which had forced him to the other side of the road.”

    “The lady driver went ballistic at him but he sat in his Land Rover with a smug look on his face. It was unbelievable – and then he drove off.”

  • Tim Ott-Jones

    What a joke…….

  • Howmanyjackos

    As a member of devon council mr atkinson is very used to treating people in this way.

  • shoei7

    That person should never be able to drive again as driving is a priviledge.

  • Dave Little

    Would the fine have been £280 if he used 2 fingers?

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Disgusting obviously a friend of the judge.

  • EB

    This is more than just a wayward judge

    That the prosecutor said that they were riding single file shows how biased even the prosecution are, even before an overly lenient sentence was given.

    Potentially, if they had been two abreast the driver wouldn’t have attempted to overtake them in a blind corner and the accident wouldn’t have happened.

    What law were were they supposedly to have been able to break by riding out of single file?

    That the journalist also felt the need to state that they were experienced riders is also wrong. Inexperienced people also need to be able to cycle without idiots overtaking them on blind corners