Cyclist left with broken spine after being 'rugby tackled' by angry driver

Driver told female cyclist "I thought you were a bloke" after attacked

Caroline Livesey was left with a broken spine after being 'rugby tackled' by Martyn Lee
(Image credit: Caroline Livesey/Twitter)

A driver from Harrogate could face prison after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm following an attack on a female cyclist in a road rage incident.

46-year-old Martyn Lee attacked 38-year-old Caroline Livesey after he had had to take evasive action to avoid driving into her after she swerved when a dog ran into the road.

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"The defendant had to drive into the middle of both carriageways to narrowly miss Mrs Livesey," Shawn Morales, prosecuting, told York Crown Court. "The complainant said the defendant then drove past her shouting something about ‘undertaking’.

"Further down the road he had stopped and, as the complainant went past, he rugby tackled her from the bike and she hit the back of her head on the road surface. He told her, ‘To be honest, I thought you were a bloke’."

Mrs Livesey, who had recently started working part time in order to pursue a "semi-pro" triathlon career, suffered a sacral fracture in the inner-pelvic area of her spine as well as cuts and bruises to her lower back and head.

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Acting for the defence, Ayisha Smart said that her client had been subject of a "hate campaign on Facebook" which had impacted on his plumbing business, and that a "build-up of stress he was under at work let his anger get the better of him".

Sentencing was delayed to enable Mr Lee to prove that he is able to work to pay compensation to Mrs Livesey. If he is unable to do this then he could face a prison sentence.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.