A motorist hit a binman while driving off after a confrontation over a rubbish lorry blocking the road, a court was told. Wolverhampton Magistrates Court heard that Gareth Bowen was trying to pass the lorry when the incident happened.
The 33-year-old struck Ken Chilton with his black Audi VRM on March 8 in Uplands Avenue, Finchfield, at around 8.30am. Bowen, of Chestnut Way in Finchfield, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to stop after an accident but was found guilty by District Judge Michael Wheeler after a trial.
“Mr Chilton was confronted by the defendant who wanted to get past the refuse lorry,” said Mrs Sukhi Rai, prosecuting.
And she added: “He pulled up close to the truck and stopped the workers from putting bins on the wagon.
“Mr Chilton got out of the vehicle and at this point the defendant drove off clipping him with his wing mirror causing him to spin round and injure his hand.”
The court was told that Mr Chilton suffered a fracture to his left hand, a slipped disc and damage to his left knee. He has been unable to return to work. Mr Chilton gave evidence during the trial and told the court: “I shouted after him telling him he had just hit me but he just carried on.”
He added: “My hands fell to the floor and I had black marks on my wrist. I reported the incident to my employer and to the police within 30 minutes.”
Bowen represented himself and claimed the binmen had been aggressive towards him and he felt intimidated.
He said: “I asked one of the workers about some bin bags that had been left outside my house and wanted to speak to the driver.
“I drove around the side of the lorry to speak to Mr Chilton but he drove off. He blocked me in several times. The operatives were not approachable and were smirking. I felt intimidated.
Mr Chilton then got out of the lorry and began walking towards me. I saw the road was clear and drove off.
“I now accept that I struck him but when I drove off I was uncertain of the situation and when I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw all four operatives looking in a threatening and aggressive manner.”
District judge Wheeler ordered Bowen to carry out 120 hours’ community service and gave him eight penalty points. He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
He told Bowen: “It was you who was driving aggressively. You struck somebody and drove away from the scene. Your standard of driving was appalling.”