A road-rage driver was nailed by his own dashcam footage after he went to war with a cyclist on a narrow country road.
The rural tranquillity of Dacre Banks, near Harrogate, was shattered when 54-year-old farmer Raymond Goodsell overtook a group of cyclists in his Cherokee Jeep on the B6451 near Darley.
York Crown Court heard that Goodsell had honked his horn as he approached the cyclists from behind, to warn them that he was about to overtake on the narrow road.
Prosecutor Richard Holland said the cyclists, who were riding two abreast and some of whom were straddling the middle of the tight road, felt that Goodsell had got too close to them and one of them “took umbrage”, breaking from the pack and chasing the Jeep.
A video camera on Goodsell’s dashboard captured the moment the cyclist caught up with the Jeep when it stopped at a give-way line, prompting a furious, foul-mouthed row between the two men.
Goodsell shouted “Do you want some?” as he put his hand on a large machete on the passenger seat, but didn’t pick it up or brandish it.
Mr Holland said the Crown accepted that Goodsell had the 18-inch serrated Garza knife for work purposes.
The farmer claimed he had put his hand on the knife because there were some pies on or next to the huge blade and he was trying to stop them falling off the seat.
Following a ferocious exchange with the cyclist, Goodsell drove off, swearing and muttering to himself. He was arrested six hours later when police found the knife in his Jeep.
The father-of-three, of New Street, Idle, near Bradford, was charged with a public-order offence and having an offensive weapon, but denied the allegations.
He appeared for what was due to be a trial at the Crown Court on Monday, but admitted the public-order offence before a jury was sworn in. The charge of having a knife was dropped by the prosecution after it was agreed that Goodwell did not pick it up or wield it, and had it for legitimate reasons.
The Crown agreed that Goodsell, a sometime gamekeeper, had overtaken correctly and was driving at a “sensible speed” before the fiery verbal exchange with the cyclist on the afternoon of November 19 last year, during which the cyclist allegedly lashed out at the Jeep’s wing mirror.
Mr Holland said although Goodsell had not brandished the knife, “The Crown says it was certainly very frightening (for the cyclist)”, who must have seen the “frightening-looking” blade.
The court heard that Goodsell, a father-of-three, had a previous conviction for causing bodily harm by furious driving in 1994.
Defence barrister Taryn Turner said Goodsell’s behaviour during the row with the cyclist was “unpleasant” but claimed her client had reacted after the cyclist was aggressive to him. Goodsell had handed police the dashcam footage “to prove his point”.
Judge Paul Worlsey QC told Goodsell: “Your behaviour was not forgivable. Your reaction (to the cyclist) was a very unattractive one and it’s (reactions) like that which can lead to violence.”
Goodsell was ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £250 costs. Mr Worsley QC entered a formal not-guilty verdict on the knife charge.