Motorist headbutted driver after near miss

A MOTORIST punched and headbutted a lorry driver after tracking him down following a near miss on a roundabout.

Steven John Lewis, 54, of Stockingate, South Kirkby, was almost involved in a collision with a lorry, driven by John Shaw, on the Minsthorpe Lane roundabout, near Dale Lane Industrial Estate, on March 29.

Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard how Lewis followed Mr Shaw’s HGV lorry to Yorkshire Premier Meats, on Lidgate Crescent - part of Langthwaite Business Park - and confronted him about the incident.

He then punched Mr Shaw, who retaliated in self defence, and the men got into a scuffle before Lewis headbutted Mr Shaw in the face.

Mr Shaw was left with a cut, swelling and bruising to his eye and cheek.

He told the court how Lewis had indicated to go left before pulling back onto the roundabout in front of him.

He said: “I slowed down and manoeuvred around him and carried on in the same lane. It wasn’t much of an incident really. I parked up in the yard and then a guy was at the side of my cab.

“I opened the door and he shouted that I chopped him up. I got out and he shoved me against the truck. I automatically shoved him back. He headbutted me in the eye and sent me tumbling into some empty trays.”

Lewis denied assault by beating, saying he had to perform an emergency stop when Mr Shaw cut him up on the roundabout and that he had been acting in self defence after Mr Shaw attacked him. But he was found guilty after a trial on Friday.

Lewis said: “He lunged forward and punched me to the eye. I realised I wasn’t going to get away so I punched him back and it developed into a full blown fist fight. It was clear he was not going to give up. It was an awful thing to do and I hate myself for doing it but I headbutted him because that was the only thing I could think of.”

Lewis was sentenced to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £250 compensation to Mr Shaw. He must also pay £350 in court costs.

Magistrate Lynn Hewison said: “We feel that this was instigated by you. The use of the headbutt and the force you used was excessive.”