Middleton road-rage driver made cyclist his target

Date published: 18 February 2009

A road-rage driver who mowed down a cyclist in a “moment of madness” and left him injured on the street has been spared jail.

Mark Slack, 44, of Stakehill Lane, Middleton, had an argument with cyclist Paul Dixon, after he had bumped into him at traffic lights on Chadderton Road in Oldham on 11 July last year.

Mr Dixon, who was making his way to work, carried on his journey on New Ratcliffe Street before Slack mowed into his path causing Mr Dixon to fall off.

Mr Dixon escaped the incident with only slight bruising and tenderness to his upper legs and arms.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Slack pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, failing to stop at an accident and failure to stop and report an accident.

Ian Johnstone, defending, said: “This is a man who is a pillar in his local community.

“He is a foster carer for children, goes to church and is involved in the local rugby team. He was an exemplary person.

“He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. It’s difficult to see what happened but it’s clear that Mr Dixon came off the bike and off his feet.

“He panicked at that point and drove away. He has been of good character and out of trouble for over 30 years. He is a trusted member of the community.

“Mr Slack has been a foster carer for five years now and has a long-term foster child with him.”

The episode was captured on CCTV as Slack drove off with Dixon standing in the street as his bike lay on the floor.

Judge Mark Gosnell said: “I accept that you pleaded guilty on the basis of plea which was essentially you admitted that you didn’t intend to hurt Mr Dixon.

“You accept that he fell and the injuries that he complained of were cause by that incident.”

“The history of the incident stems from road rage situation with you and Mr Dixon. There was a dispute and he banged into you car.”

“You attempted to apprehend him like you were a police officer. You caused the cyclist to fall from the cycle.

“The situation in your car was a moment of madness on your part and now you regret it.”

Slack was given a 12-month community rehabilitation order, fined £175 and ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work. His driving licence was endorsed with six penalty points.

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