The driver who verbally abused BBC radio and television presenter Jeremy Vine as he was cycling in London has been found guilty of ‘road rage’ and could serve a term in jail.
Shanique Syrena Pearson was filmed by Vine’s helmet camera, as he behaved aggressively towards him while he was cycling along a narrow, car-lined street in Kensington in August.
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The 22-year-old drove behind Vine and started beeping her horn. She subsequently got out of the vehicle and shouted abuse at the BBC Radio 2 and Crimewatch presenter.
The footage shows Pearson shouting at Vine “get the f*** out of the road” and attempting to shove Vine’s bike. In court, Vine said that he was “quite scared about what was going to happen” as Pearson appeared to be a “violent person”.
Vine posted the video online and passed it to police, who found that Pearson was driving an unlicensed vehicle.
Hammersmith magistrates found Pearson guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, and of driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.
District Judge Timothy King commented that Vine was a credible witness and that his cycling along the road “was perfectly appropriate for the conditions”, reports the BBC.
Pearson was previously convicted for assault in 2012, and handed a suspended prison sentence. The latest conviction means that she could now serve time in jail. A date is due to be scheduled for Pearson’s sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court.
Judge King said: “The court will decide whether the suspended sentence imposed should be activated in whole or in part”.
Pearson’s lawyer told the court that his client had been “racially abused and suffered substantially” as a result of Vine’s footage being uploaded to social media, and is asking for leniency.