Cyclist who attacked retired headmaster in road rage incident spared jail

PUBLISHED: 07:30 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:29 04 February 2020

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A Stowmarket cyclist who assaulted a retired headmaster during a road rage incident has been spared an immediate prison sentence after his victim said he had no wish to see him punished.

Sentencing Michael Bass to a 21 month prison sentence suspended for two years, Judge Martyn Levett said 75-year-old Michael Perry had written a letter to the court saying he had no personal wish to see Bass punished and hoped for a "positive rather than a purely negative outcome to the case".

In a letter to the judge Mr Perry said he had worked with young people all his life and described the defendant as appearing to be "deeply troubled and having a chip on his shoulder and a short temper."

Judge Levett said Mr Perry had posed no threat to Bass as he had remained sitting in his car throughout the incident

In addition to the suspended sentence 36-year-old Bass was given a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay Mr Perry £500 compensation.

Bass, of Poplar Hill, Stowmarket, admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Perry on May 18 last year.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mr Perry needed seven stitches in a cut to his lip after being punched in the face through the open window of his car by Bass who accused him of driving too close as he overtook him.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said Mr Perry had been driving along Bury Road, Stowmarket at around 4.30pm and had overtaken three cyclists, including Bass.

As he overtook Bass he heard a loud bang on his window and stopped his car. Bass had then approached the car and words were exchanged before Bass for no reason punched Mr Perry once through the open driver's window.

Following the incident Mr Perry drove off and reported the incident to the police.

When Bass was spoken to by police he said he felt Mr Perry had passed too close to him when he was overtaking him and had tapped on his car window.

He accepted swearing at Mr Perry and punching him through the open window.

Steven Dyble for Bass said his client had been sleeping rough in woods at Haughley but now had accommodation and was back in touch with his mental health team.

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