Wednesday 9 March 2011

Road Rage

Intrigued by the post I referred to a few days back by 'Innocent and proved so by the police', I have been chasing Hounslow Police for information.  An officer finally got back to me yesterday and I can reveal the following:

A male was arrested on Friday 25th February on suspicion of offences arising out of an incident involving a car and me near Hounslow on 4th November.  (That's the one described here).  Interviewed under caution the suspect explained that he had been provoked by being called a 'wanker' and was released without charge.  The police have decided that no further action will be taken.

The police wanted me to know that the suspect would pursue his counter-allegations against me 'if need be'.

I have, however, contacted the CPS who I hope will be reviewing the police decision.

Meanwhile the police in Manchester are looking for a man who assaulted a cyclist in that City on 26th January.  The following appears from the cyclist's helmet camera.


  1. Before people are allowed to apply for a driving licence, I believe they need to be tested for aggressive behaviour. This individual should clearly never be allowed control of a motor vehicle, or any other potentially dangerous equipment.

  2. Where does the law stand on provocation? If you've called a driver a "wanker" it's perfectly acceptable for him to make a death threat or physically assault a cyclist?

    How does that work the other way? If a driver runs a cyclist off the road have we been provoked such that it would be acceptable for us to take a D-Lock to the driver's car, say?

    Again, this seems a completely unacceptable response from the Police. The burden of responsibility on the driver of a vehicle should be greater than that of an undefended pedestrian or cyclist.

  3. The law is pretty clear, provocation is not a defence to any crime (save murder, reducing it to manslaughter). It is potentially a mitigating factor when it comes to sentence and it may affect whether it is considered in the public interest to prosecute. I hope I have already made the point that not only did I not call him a 'wanker' but that my video evidence demonstrates that rather conclusively. For those reasons I did not feel I could accept the police decision with equanimity.

  4. Dear Mr Porter

    I have recently written a post which a uses a link you provided in the above post. It is entitled: Police Persecution Of Motorists?

    I hope that is OK?

    Many thanks

    PS love your blog.

  5. Wow. Beggars belief.

  6. Presumably not telling the truth while being interviewed under caution is in itself an offense.

  7. I thought the police already had a copy of the video. So presumably they could look and see for themselves that the interviewee was talking bobbins.
    "The police wanted me to know that the suspect would pursue his counter-allegations against me 'if need be'." what counter allegations?

    (your link to the old article is currently not right)

  8. do you have that feeling that given the police had to respond, ultimately they were just *goingthroughthemotions*? As others have said, even if you did mention the driver's onanistic predilections, it does not justify his behaviour.

    In solidarity, another cycling lawyer, north of fleet st.

  9. Transpires the police had the (obviously) edited highlights, the CPS (who ought to have been left wih the decision) had a full copy and I (as everyone knows) have retained the original. Should the policeman have sought out a sight of the unedited film or consulted the CPS? I have a view on that but will leave it until the CPS decide what to do next.

  10. Maybe another cyclist had called him a "wanker" and he had taken some time to process the comment, though it is difficult to imagine how anyone could have come to that conclusion.

  11. If a cyclist has cause to shout such an obscenity at a driver I suspect that the latter's standard of driving was well below what is expected by the law and the Highway Code.

    Martin, your posts and replies on this and related topics are a source of hope for those of us who regularly travel on the road by bicycle.

  12. I can't imagine the great Mr M Porter calling anyone a w@nker in any situation. He might call someone a "ghastly rotter", but never stoop so low as to use the 'w' word. I can't believe that the Hounslow motorist could have the audacity to suggest that such a thing happened. He clearly is more of a scummer than we original thought.

  13. So, if you called someone a wanker in a pub and he pulled a gun or knife on you, and slashed/shot at you, the Hounslow police would be ok with that?