Ipswich: Apache instructor injured after driver ‘deliberately’ slammed on brakes in front of him

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

AN APACHE helicopter instructor suffered multiple injuries when a car driver deliberately performed an emergency stop in front of his motorbike, a court has heard.

Sam Iam, 33, of Berners Street in Ipswich, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday charged with dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

It is alleged that Iam slammed on his brakes at a roundabout in Wherstead Road on May 26, causing Sergeant Major Andrew Farmer, who is based at Wattisham, to crash into the back of him.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said the collision followed two occasions when Iam and Sgt Maj Farmer made gestures and exchanged confrontational words with each other.

Mr Sadd said: “We say the defendant, for no reason other than irritation, slammed his brakes on at a roundabout, causing Mr Farmer to go into the back of him, with inevitable consequences.”

The court heard that the incident started at the roundabout in Greyfriars Road, opposite the Novotel, when Iam believed Sgt Maj Farmer had attempted to ride past him.

It is alleged Iam then made hand gestures and shouted at Sgt Maj Farmer, who has been in the army for 24 years, after the pair came to a stop on Stoke Bridge.

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They travelled along Wherstead Road and Sgt Maj Farmer rode alongside Iam, made gestures and swore at him.

After getting to the roundabout in Wherstead Road, Iam drove off in his white VW Golf and Sgt Maj Farmer drove off a few seconds later.

It is claimed Iam “slammed” on his brakes causing Sgt Maj Farmer to crash into the back of the car and fall from his bike, ending up just beneath the car.

The instructor, who has served in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, suffered whiplash, bruising to his right upper body and damage to his wrist. He was also downgraded from flying for a week.

The defendant then drove away from the scene and Sgt Maj Farmer attempted to run after him but later gave up the chase.

Gavin Burrell, defending, said Iam believed Sgt Maj Farmer was going to attempt to overtake him on the roundabout in Wherstead Road, which may have caused him to perform an emergency stop.

He said: “He [Iam] thought there was going to be a dangerous manoeuvre so as a consequence, he put his foot on the brake.”

Iam has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The trial continues.