Court hears how 'road rage' confrontation left cyclist with serious brain injuries

Prosecution claims dangerous driving after heated exchange led to collision with cyclist

Cycling Weekly news logo

A man in Yorkshire has denied that his driving left a cyclist with serious brain injuries following a road rage confrontation.

Leeds Crown Court heard Michael Gledhill was behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa in July 2013 when he was involved in an incident with John Radford, 69, on the A616 Huddersfield Road between New Mill and Brockholes.

CCTV showed him passing the White Hart pub with Gledhill in the third car behind him around 2.13pm, reports The Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

The car went by and virtually stopped, causing the cyclist to then ride round it to the driver’s window where “words were exchanged”.

An eye-witness then described Mr Radford riding off again but towards the right hand side of the road, crossing the central white line. She said she saw the car also set off and cross the white line behind the bike, and the next thing she saw was the cyclist falling. The witness said she could not see any reason why the car followed him as it did, but did not see actual contact.

The prosecution said it was dangerous to overtake in an aggressive way as Gledhill had done and then later cross the white line after him “and literally knock the cyclist off”.

Gledhill allegedly told the witness he might have clipped Mr Radford, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, or scraped him, but later said he could not remember saying that. Another witness claims they heard him saying that the cyclist would not get out of the way.

The court heard a strut cap from the bike was later examined and found to have debris inside containing paint flakes that matched the car suggesting it “had been in forceful contact to the rear of the pedal cycle.”

When interviewed Gledhill said the cyclist was veering into the middle of the road which was why he had first beeped him and said it was the cyclist who shouted at him.

Later he said he slowed down to “give him some stick”.

The 23-year-old accepted they had exchanged words and then said he did not know why he had come off the bike, saying: "I pulled across to the right in front of him to protect him from oncoming traffic."

He denies causing serious injury to Mr Radford by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.