Court: Angry driver pulled woman off her bicycle

The case was heard at York Crown Court
The case was heard at York Crown Court

A motorist who was undertaken by a semi-professional triathlete from Harrogate as she swerved while cycling pulled her off her bicycle in rage, a court heard.

Martyn Lee, 46, was driving his van when he pulled over and rugby tackled 38-year-old Caroline Livesey from her seat on May 11 this year.

York Crown Court heard plumber Lee became vexed after being undertaken by Mrs Livesey after she had swerved to avoid a dog which ran into the road.

This made Lee swerve around her into on-coming traffic - so he drove further up the road, jumped out his van and tackled Mrs Livesey from her cycle as she passed.

She suffered a sacral fracture in the inner-pelvic area of her spine and suffered cuts and bruises to her lower back and head.

The incident occurred in Pateley Bridge as the pair travelled along Low Wath Road at around 1pm.

Mrs Livesey was at the vital point of gaining qualification for a triathlete spot at the 2017 world championships prior to the crash.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Livesey said: “Eight months ago I had gone part-time in my job to train 48 hours a week. I was at the point in my training where I was competitive and could achieve podium positions.

“After about a week at home with my injuries from this incident, I realised that they were not simply bruises and had them medically checked and I had in fact broken my sacrum.

“This was painful and I also had damage to my nerve endings which became uncomfortable when riding the bike.

“I no longer feel safe when on my bike and have ridden my bike in fear for months.

“I have lost earnings - I lost out in prize money for qualification to these events and I am still in part-time employment.”

Mrs Livesey also had her iPhone and helmet camera broken after being pulled from her cycle, which cost £340 and £209 respectively.

After the incident, Mrs Livesey said she believed that incidents of road rage against cyclists were occurring more and more frequently.

“I don’t know if it’s because there are more bikes on the road since the Tour de Yorkshire, but I’ve definitely become more aware of incidents where cyclists have had problems with impatient drivers,” she said.

“Since this happened to me, I’ve had a lot of people get in touch to say that they have been on the receiving end at the hands of motorists as well.

“I want to re-iterate that the 30 seconds that it might cost a motorist to wait to overtake a cyclist safely isn’t going to alter their day that dramatically.” As a result of the incident, the court heard Lee had been the butt of a hate campaign on social media explaining how he had assaulted Mrs Livesey.

The online slurs had made him lose business.

Defending Lee, Ayisha Smart, said: “He says that he merely pulled over further up the road to try and speak to the victim, but the build up of stress he was under at work let his anger get the better of him.

“This is the defendant’s first blemish on a record of 46 years.

“He has given a guilty plea at the first opportunity, the same plea given to police officers at the scene of the incident.

“The defendant has been subject to a hate campaign on Facebook against him as a result of this incident and his self-employed plumbing business has suffered.

“This has affected his ability to work as his partner is also off work and not in receipt of benefits.”

The court heard Lee had been suffering from high levels of stress prior to the incident.

Lee, of Lofthouse, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.

He was due to be sentenced on Monday but Recorder Nicholas Barker told him he must prove he can work to pay compensation to Mrs Livesey or face a possible prison sentence.

Lee was granted bail and will be sentenced in January 2018.