DRIVER Sebastian Baj has told a jury he tried to stop a cyclist after the rider showed his middle finger to his six-year-old son sitting in the car.
Lorry driver Baj, 33, was acquitted of dangerous driving and assault by beating at Portsmouth Crown Court.
But he was convicted of careless driving after following Ian Beskeen from Fawcett Road, in Southsea, along Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton Way and into Rodney Road in Portsmouth.
Judge Roger Hetherington sentenced Baj yesterday, fining him £500 with three penalty points on his driving licence. He must also pay a victim surcharge.
Jurors watched CCTV showing Baj’s dark red Vauxhall Astra parked on the pavement outside a car dealership in Rodney Road with Baj and the cyclist in a ‘tug of war’ over the bike.
Speaking through a Polish interpreter, Baj, 33, said: ‘My son said to me, he pointed, and said “that man on the road, he just showed me middle finger”.’
He said that happened on Fawcett Road near to the junction with Telephone Road on January 19.
Baj, who said he brought up his son with ‘respect’, said: ‘I wanted to ask what provoked that gentleman to show middle finger to my son. I could understand a grown up but a child, it’s very different. When he started to run away it started to look suspicious. Why would an adult run away?’
CCTV showed Baj driving closely to the cyclist. Jurors heard a witness saw him first stop in Fratton Way and get out – something he denies.
Baj, who denied dangerous driving and assault by beating, accepted he later stopped in Rodney Road.
A witness said she saw blood on Mr Beskeen’s face and Baj’s hand, the jury was told. Baj said he had blood on his finger after trying to stop Mr Beskeen hitting his car with a lock.
Baj, of Estella Road, Buckland, said: ‘I was considering myself a victim all the time until I received an invitation to turn up to the police station.’
He said he now has a car with tinted windows.
‘I have tinted my windows as well as my child is focussing on every cyclist,’ he said.