Driver punched cyclist in Gosport road rage attack

SCENE Sean Massey was cycling along Stokes Bay Road in Gosport with his son before the attack
SCENE Sean Massey was cycling along Stokes Bay Road in Gosport with his son before the attack

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A DAY trip to the seaside on a hot summer’s day ended up with a cyclist being beaten in front of his son in a road rage attack, a court has heard.

Victim Sean Massey told Fareham Magistrates’ Court yesterday how he ‘knew he was going to be punched’ by Gary Hopkins after a row blew up over the way Hopkins had been driving and whether Mr Massey should be using a cycle lane.

Mr Massey had been cycling with his 17-year old son in file, at around 20mph along Stokes Bay Road, in Gosport, on July 18 this year when Hopkins overtook the pair.

Mr Massey, who cycles around 350 miles a week, told the court Hopkins cut in front of them closely, putting his foot on the brake several times.

Mr Massey, 57, said he did not understand what the aggression was for but knew it was aimed at him. He followed Hopkins into Pebble Beach Car Park to confront him.

Mr Massey said: ‘I went up next to the car. He got out and came right up in my face. He said “there’s a cycle path there, use it”. He couldn’t have been any closer. He was full of aggression.’

The two men proceeded to argue and Mr Massey put his bicycle between them and lifted it up to protect himself.

The court heard how Hopkins, 55, then punched Mr Massey, causing him to fall to the ground before Hopkins punched him again.

Hopkins, of Hobbs Lane, Hedge End, denied the charge of assault by beating and said he was acting in self-defence as he thought Mr Massey was going to hit him or his car with the bicycle. He said he did not know the area, which was why he was braking.

Chairman of the magistrates’ Edwin Daniels found Hopkins guilty. He took into account his previous good character, but said: ‘The defendant’s actions were unreasonable, disproportionate and aggressive.’

He ordered Hopkins to pay £200 compensation to Mr Massey and costs of £600.

Speaking after the case, Mr Massey said: ‘He has not got the punishment for what he did. I don’t know what his game was.’