'Road rage, pure and simple': Cyclist attacked by 'moronic bogan'
A DRIVER who collided with a cyclist should have rushed to his aid, a magistrate has said. Instead Angus Edgar Beirne got out of his car, demanded an apology and started throwing punches.
Beirne, 27, yesterday pleaded guilty to assaulting the cyclist in what Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist labelled "road rage, pure and simple".
Beirne denied having any prejudice against cyclists and his solicitor Paul Hamilton said Beirne's conduct on the day was "unexplainable" and "a complete aberration" for the security guard and talented former surf lifesaving competitor.
"He was of the belief at the time the complainant had intentionally swiped the side-view mirror of his vehicle and that is why he has then jumped out of the car," Mr Hamilton said.
"Upon reflection and after thinking though, after he's had time to cool his head, he realises that that was almost certainly not the case."
Mr Hamilton said Beirne was not by nature a violent person.
"He wishes he could take it (the assault) back but unfortunately he can not," he said.
Police prosecutor Rick Pallister said Beirne turned his Nissan Cube into Mandin St, Alexandra Headland, just before 8am on January 10.
Crash barriers set up adjacent to a construction site had narrowed access to the street and Sergeant Pallister said it could not be determined whereabouts on the road Beirne, or the cyclist who was travelling in the opposite direction towards him, were when the two collided.
The mirror on Beirne's car was damaged, the bicycle scratched, and the rider's right side collided with the car but he was uninjured and skidded to a stop before dismounting.
"The defendant got out of his vehicle and started yelling at the cyclist and running towards the cyclist," Sergeant Pallister said.
"The dependent said something like 'who the f*** do you think you are? You just hit my car. What the f*** do you think you're doing mate?'"
When the cyclist refused to apologise, saying he'd done nothing wrong and that Beirne had been driving on the wrong side of the road, Beirne first pushed him in the chest then punched him in the face, mouth and chest.
Mr Stjernqvist said the description of the the attack seemed to be completely out of character for the good-natured man described in references handed to the court and his solicitor's accounts of his past service to the community through surf lifesaving.
"You turned into a street and you turned into a moronic bogan for some reason," Mr Stjernqvist said.
"... the person of even temperament and good character would have jumped out of the car and said 'are you okay?', not immediately embarked upon a tirade like you did."
He said all drivers had a duty of care to other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
"Drivers of motor vehicles have to give way to everything because pedestrian versus driver - one loser, bicycle versus vehicle - only one loser," Mr Stjernqvist said.
He fined Beirne $3000 and ordered him to pay $500 in compensation to the bicycle rider for his pain and suffering.
"Whilst it might be said (the cyclist) didn't suffer some significant injuries he sure suffered the indignation of you levelling a tirade and physically abusing him in public," Mr Stjernqvist said.