Ipswich police officer in cyclist road rage trial denies dangerous driving and assault
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
An off-duty Ipswich police officer ‘launched’ a cyclist back into a shop window after knocking him off his bike in a road rage incident, a court heard.
Norwich Crown Court heard William Ormsby, of Hale Close, Ipswich, has denied dangerous driving and assaulting cyclist Ben Fosdike.
Opening the trial yesterday prosecutor John Morgans said: “This is a typical road rage example of dangerous driving. The defendant lost his temper, decided to take it out on a cyclist, drives dangerously to stop the cyclist and then decides to assault him.”
The alleged offences took place opposite Coes in Norwich Road at around 2.15pm on February 14 last year.
Ormsby was heading out of town in a Nissan Micra and had a female passenger in the car.
Mr Fosdike, a chef, was ahead of him as he was cycling home from work.
After two fire engines with their sirens on passed the pair Ormsby is said to have driven alongside Mr Fosdike coming within touching distance of him.
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Mr Morgans said: “Mr Fosdike, perhaps inadvisedly, reaches out with his hand and brushes the near side wing mirror on the car to say ‘you are too close’.”
The court was told Ormsby, 54, may already have been annoyed with the cyclist.
Mr Morgans said: “This seems to push him completely over the edge. He accelerates past. He then turns sharply in front of the cyclist and drives up on to the pavement. The cyclist has nowhere to go – he’s actually hit by the car.”
Mr Fosdike and his bike were said to have fallen to the ground with the Micra alleged to have been on the front wheel of the bicycle.
Ormsby got out of the Micra and was said to have been verbally aggressive to Mr Fosdike, who tried to push him away.
Mr Morgans said this seemed to “further enrage” Ormsby who grabbed hold of Mr Fosdike and pushed him up against the window of a dress shop, causing a “big bang”.
A seamstress came out to see what was happening and the incident ended with Mr Fosdike saying he would let police deal with the matter. Ormsby returned to his car, drove around 100 yards along the road, and also phoned the police.
In his police interview Ormsby said he ended up on the pavement after pressing the accelerator of the Micra by mistake as he was not used to driving an automatic. Regarding the alleged assault Ormsby told officers he had reacted to Mr Fosdike pushing him.
Giving evidence Mr Fosdike said he had previously tried to gesture to Ormsby before hitting his wing mirror as he felt intimidated because the Micra was too close to him.
Asked about the alleged assault Mr Fosdike said: “He grabbed me by the scruff of the jacket and launches me back into the window of the shop.”
Andrew Thompson, defending Ormsby, said the defence case is that the Micra had just about passed Mr Fosdike when the cyclist caught up with it again and struck the wing mirror.
The Micra, which was travelling at 10-15mph, went up on to the kerb but did not hit the bike.
Mr Thompson said it was the bike which then hit the car.
The case continues.