Off-duty Ipswich police officer in ‘road rage’ trial hit accelerator by mistake, court hears

The incident happened on Norwich Road in Ipswich, oppositve Coes department store.

The incident happened on Norwich Road in Ipswich, oppositve Coes department store. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A police officer denied deliberately trying to run a cyclist off an Ipswich road when interviewed by colleagues, a court heard.

William Ormsby, of Hale Close, Ipswich, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and assaulting Ben Fosdike in Norwich Road on February 14 last year.

Norwich Crown Court was told Ormsby was off-duty at the time and was driving his partner’s Nissan Micra.

Yesterday the jury at the 54-year-old’s trial heard a transcript of his police interview.

In it Ormsby said the incident began at Barrack Corner where the road swings to the right into Norwich Road heading out of town.

Ormsby alleged Mr Fosdike had cut the corner. This led to Ormsby beeping the horn of the Micra as a warning to ensure Mr Fosdike was aware he was behind him.

Ormsby then beeped the horn a second time when he claimed Mr Fosdike went into the Micra’s part of the road again.

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In his statement Ormsby said: “I assumed he was cutting into my path deliberately.”

He then heard a noise, which was Mr Fosdike hittling the passenger side wing mirror. Earlier in the trial Mr Fosdike admitted doing so, but said that Ormsby was driving too close and intimidating him.

However, the court was told in interview Ormsby said: “At that point I didn’t really know what had happened. I was just startled.”

Ormsby is accused of purposely turning sharply to his left and hitting Mr Fosdike’s bike as at least one of the Micra’s front wheels mounted the pavement opposite Coes.

Ormsby told officers he had no intention of colliding with Mr Fosdike, but his partner’s car was an automatic and he pushed the accelerator instead of the brake because he was unfamiliar with the vehicle. A van was parked a short distance ahead causing Ormsby to go on to the pavement.

He said: “I went for the brake -thought I had my foot on the brake and thought ‘why are you not stopping’ and realised I was in an automatic.

“I realised what I had done so I moved my feet over to cover the brake. I got my feet mixed up.”

When asked why he had turned sharply to the left Ormsby told an officer: “I was worried about going into the back of the van. My initial intention was to stop and talk to the guy (Mr Fosdike).”

Ormsby got out of the Micra, leaving his partner in the car, and noticed the glass had been displaced from the wing mirror.

He is then alleged to have exchanged words with Mr Fosdike, before shoving him back on to the window of a dressmaker’s shop after the cyclist had pushed him away.

In interview Ormsby said: “I was angry about what happened.” He added he pushed Mr Fosdike out of the way because he did not want to get into a fight.

During yesterday witness Dominic Will told the jury Ormsby pushed Mr Fosdike with such force the shop window wobbled when he hit it.

He also described Ormsby as having “lost it”.

The case continues.