Harrogate man jailed after punching pensioner in road-rage attack

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

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A 26-year-old man has been jailed for attacking a pensioner during a road-rage incident in Harrogate.

Lee Campbell leapt out of his car after the 66-year-old victim remonstrated with him for squeezing in front of his vehicle in a filter lane on Wetherby Road last November, York Crown Court heard.

Horrified motorists saw Campbell “jumping up and down like a boxer” as he squared up to the elderly man, who had also got out of his car.

They said Campbell floored the victim with one punch to the face and the man’s glasses and hearing aid fell off.

A witness reported the matter to police and Campbell was arrested three weeks later.

He denied assault but was later convicted of the offence at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court.

Campbell, who runs an electrical business, was committed to the Crown Court for sentence on Friday, when judge Mr D P Hunt heard that the attack was in breach of a suspended sentence given to the defendant in 2012 for racially-aggravated assault.

Prosecuting barrister Rob Stephenson said the latest incident happened when Campbell moved his vehicle just in front of the victim’s, getting so close that it activated the parking sensors.

The irate pensioner sounded his horn as his wife shouted at Campbell, who braked suddenly, causing the victim to slam on his own brakes.

“The defendant then got out of his vehicle and walked towards the complainant, who got out of his car,” said Mr Stephenson.

“The defendant was jumping around like he was a boxer, shouting ‘Come on then’”.

He then struck the elderly man in front of witnesses, including children. The victim was not seriously injured.

Mr Stephenson said Campbell, a father-of-two, had two previous convictions for violence. In December 2012 he was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for attacking a black teenager and calling him a racist name. Campbell’s lawyer Keith Allen claimed the elderly victim in the latest attack had not been floored and that the two men had squared up to each other.

Judge Mr Hunt, jailing Campbell for three months, said the defendent had been treated leniently in 2012 for a “very unpleasant” attack, including “the most offensive word known to man”.

He said: “Road rage has become prevalent in the last two decades. When it happens, the public are distressed and frightened by it.”