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Assault

garethjohngarethjohn Posts: 165
edited June 2013 in Road general
So had my first experience of being attacked on my bike. Long story short got hit off my bike and while stuck on the floor got kicked numerous times. Then the bike got it too. Thankfully there were witnesses and the police were able to make an arrest for assault and criminal damage. Question is what to do next? Have taken as many pics as possible for insurance purposes and have got the ball rolling to make a claim. After reading other stories I'm guessing he'll get off with a caution and I'll have to go through a civil court if I want anything more. If anybody on here has had a similar experience I'd really appreciate your advice and input. Cheers.
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  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    why on earth did they attack you?
  • Be methodical,not emotional.

    These situations take ages to sort out.
  • Regarding the damage to your bike, the Police will submit a compensation schedule with their file to cover the cost of damage to your bike, if they are convicted, the court will award what they see fit, all/some/part/non there is no guarantee, they may also award you compensation for your injuries but the amount is likely to be a pittance.

    You are better making a home/contents insurance claim for the damage to your bike tbh.

    Complete a Criminal Injuries Claim online on the following link for your injuries.

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/victims-and-w ... ply-online

    Minimum payout is about £1000, it comes no matter if they are convicted, but if they are then court compensation amount is deducted from your payout.

    Forget the Civil courts, they'll likely have nothing to give anyway.

    Went through this myself 2 1/2 yrs ago, bike related, did the above, waited and got my money.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    WTF?!? What the hell is wrong with people!

    You're probably right in that he will get off with a slap on he wrist. Load of balls.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    Yes, what happened?
  • Have contacted marks and Spencer's home insurance and they have been surprisingly helpful. Already have had a call back asking for more details on the incident and what was damaged. Being as my bike is a caad9 which isn't made anymore they will push for a CAAD10. The lady on the phone seemed to want me to claim for as much as possible which I found odd, asking if my jersey had any bobbling for example! :D

    Basically turning right on a busy roundabout heard a loud honk from behind. Waved my arm trying to say there's room to pass, the guy had lost it and knocked me off. Trapped in the pedals he got out of the car and stuck the boot in a few times and stomped on the bike too. Insane! Think he realised there were witnesses and then took off. The witnesses only saw the assault and damage so he'll get away for the ludicrous driving. All I know up to now is that the police have statements from myself and the witnesses and made an arrest that evening for assault. Don't know if he's denied the charge or not yet though.

    Posted this in the commuting section as well where someone has suggested joining the uk cycling website to get legal support. Any opinions?
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Sorry to hear about the assault...hope you get it all sorted and he gets sent down (if he has previous he might!)
  • He's known to the police but not for violence which suggests he will get off with a slapped wrist.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I don't follow the logic there.
    Hopefully he'll get put away. And I'd speak to a cycling friendly solicitor.
  • This is one of those times where you wish it happened in a different country. One that isn't so pathetic when it comes to policing.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I suffered a similar incident 2 years ago - I was riding with a mate one Saturday morning and a car came up behind fast and close with his horn going on narrow roads against oncoming traffic. He cut in front and was then weaving back and forth - the road in front was clear but he was trying to force us off the road. We did exchange "pleasantries" mainly about him being an over-weight, self-abuser :twisted: We then pulled over in the hope he'd drive on, but he then stopped, got out his car clearly looking for a confrontation and confirmed our previous suspicions. Anyway, he pushed me back against a wall, I tried to give him a kick in the nuts, and ended up getting a foot-full of over-hanging gut and a punch to the face which broke my Rudy's; splitting my eyebrow requiring a couple of stitches.


    The upside was an off-duty policeman was cycling in the other direction at the same time, saw him swing the punch and provided irrefutable evidence of the assault. He was arrested and despite many months of claiming "self-defence" the day before the case was due in court, he finally pleaded guilty on a lesser charge (common assault not ABH) and was fined £600 plus costs. I suspect he had previous and knew how to 'play' the system.

    I'd press with your case, particularly if you have witnesses - the accused will likely plead not-guilty in the hope that it will go to court as often victims fail to show-up and the defendant gets to walk scot-free. My feelings were that the legal system in this country cares more for process rather than victims and likewise, those familiar with the courts know how to 'play' the system in the hope that victims drop charged.

    I persevered in the hope that a criminal charge will prevent similar incidents from happening again.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • notnotnotnot Posts: 284
    Do stick with the criminal proceedings. I don't know what the likely tariff is for this, but if nothing else a successful prosecution will leave him with a conviction for violence.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    He won't get a caution. A caution is only awarded where the offence is admitted, the accused shows genuine remorse, he has no previous convictions or cautions for a similar offence and the offence is minor on a matrix scale. Two offences in your case of common assault and criminal damage put a caution easily out of consideration.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    My goodness what an appalling incident. I hope he gets what he fully desrves
  • Firstly I hope the OP is ok and it must have been an awful experience.

    Secondly...
    baldwin471 wrote:
    This is one of those times where you wish it happened in a different country. One that isn't so pathetic when it comes to policing.

    What? The male was arrested on the same day for the offence, there are witnesses who have been identified and statemented. What more do you want? The police are there to apply the law, arrest and initiate criminal proceddings which has happened. Not to convict and hand out punishment.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    A few things worth doing. Try to find out from the police if he was insured. If so all the injuries and damage can be claimed from the "accident" and dealt with as a normal damages claim by a no win no fee lawyer. You claim for the criminal injuries separately. It sound like you have legal insurances, so these folks can deal with your civil claim. Do not worry about what he has been charged with the cps will look at the evidence and proceed with the most provable outcome. If you want to read the charging standards I will post them up. This is not a simple assault we have some additional offences.

    Failing to stop, failing to report, possible bad driving, then when it comes to sentencing prior convictions will taken into account
  • mike6mike6 Posts: 1,199
    awallace wrote:
    Firstly I hope the OP is ok and it must have been an awful experience.

    Secondly...
    baldwin471 wrote:
    This is one of those times where you wish it happened in a different country. One that isn't so pathetic when it comes to policing.

    What? The male was arrested on the same day for the offence, there are witnesses who have been identified and statemented. What more do you want? The police are there to apply the law, arrest and initiate criminal proceddings which has happened. Not to convict and hand out punishment.

    May possibly have meant the punishment/legal process. We are probably all aware that you have to almost be a career criminal to get your just deserts when breaking the law in this country.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Sad and almost uncommon occurrence nowerdays in almost all walks of life. People seem to think they can use violence against almost anyone that gets in their way or challenges their 'freedoms'

    The great thing is you have witnesses and the police are involved early. Definatly look at using a solicitor to pursue him through his insurers, it will take time but usually yields the best result.
  • I was in a situation in work were my colleague was pushed twice and an attempted head butt was thrown, the guy then drove off when the police arrived with a policeman`s arm trapped inside the vehicle trailing him down the road and thankfully he was able to keep his footing. We went to court a couple of weeks ago and the guy was found guilty on four counts and the total fines were £1000 plus £250 compensation to my colleague, 3 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years and banned from driving for 16 months. He was also refused legal aid.
    Make sure you turn up for all court dates as the defendant`s barristers will always try to get the case thrown out if your not there as any cases I have been involved you could see the defendant getting nervous as soon as they seen us.
    Cervelo S5 Team 2012
    Scott Addict R2 2010
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp SL 2010
    Kona Tanuki Supreme
  • declan1declan1 Posts: 2,470
    Sorry to hear about that. Hope he gets a nice fine and you get a CAAD-10! :D

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    I was in a similar situation. (I did nothing, overtaken by a honking driver, he clipped me then got out to punch me). It was caught on headcam and there were a couple of witnesses.

    Because he admitted it happened and said he was sorry the police asked him to write a letter of apology.

    So, OP, as I (think I) said in the thread in commuting, don't let the police go soft. Push them for a proper result.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Sorry to hear about the nasty assault you suffered. It must have been quite frightening.

    Hope it doesn't affect your confidence as a road cyclist and that you're back in the saddle
    on a nice new bike, soon.

    All the best,
    Blancmange.
    - Slave to the cadence -
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    As a fairly recent convert to road riding (been going about a year) I'm starting to think its much safer off-road. Never had any of these problems. The most exciting situation is being yelled at by bobble hats convinced that you are breaking the law.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    bails87 wrote:
    I was in a similar situation. (I did nothing, overtaken by a honking driver, he clipped me then got out to punch me). It was caught on headcam and there were a couple of witnesses.

    Because he admitted it happened and said he was sorry the police asked him to write a letter of apology.

    So, OP, as I (think I) said in the thread in commuting, don't let the police go soft. Push them for a proper result.

    You must have either agreed to restorative justice for that to happen or he was given a conditional caution. Restorative justice is only an option where the offence is minor and the victim agrees to it, a conditional caution can include writing a letter of apology.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    nope - they call it "words of advice" and all they do is log it as a crime against the name of the person so that they don't get the same offer again. Plod do this all the time for minor assaults. Don't really understand why in their mind hitting someone is acceptable.

    bails - that letter would be a near slam dunk in a civil court.
  • Well it seems the guy was released on police bail until December pending further enquiries. So until I have further contact with the police I'm guessing he denied the charge?
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    diy wrote:
    nope - they call it "words of advice" and all they do is log it as a crime against the name of the person so that they don't get the same offer again. Plod do this all the time for minor assaults. Don't really understand why in their mind hitting someone is acceptable.

    bails - that letter would be a near slam dunk in a civil court.

    Wrong. Words of advice is not an offence disposal. There is no such thing. The options are, insufficient evidence to charge, caution, conditional caution, reprimand, final warning and charge. If the police can't prove an offence either with evidence or through obtaining an admission, you can't do anything to them. Same goes with a final warning. Violent offences including s.39 common assault are recordable offences and must be recorded to comply with the Home Office offence recording standards. An officer can't just attend a report of assault and not record it. The report is then submitted via their Sergeant who verifies that investigation standards have been adhered to. Further checks and dip sampling are then done to ensure everything has been done that could be done. If an offence can't be proved, the suspect is told no further action is to be taken at this stage unless further evidence becomes available. They may sometimes choose to add an unofficial warning that the suspect has "got away with it this time".

    You've already provided the scale for charging standards so why you don't understand why someone doesn't get charged is odd. A person can only be charged with an offence if there is a) sufficient evidence to charge, b) a realistic prospect of a successful prosecution, c) it is in the public interest. All other available disposal options have to be considered prior to authorising a charge. The CPS decide in the majority of offences whether a suspect is to be charged. The police can and do appeal against decisions not to charge and to offer alternative disposals.

    To the OP; he may have been released on police bail despite admitting the offence. Such an incident as yours will be one that requires a CPS charging decision. A CPS solicitor may not have been available at the time to make the decision. It may be the CPS have reviewed the case and want the OIC to collate every single bit of evidence to pre-empt a not guilty plea at court. They may have tasked the officer with trawling all nearby roadside cctv to see if there is evidence of him driving dangerously. He may already be on bail for other offences that are awaiting a charging decision and it has been decided to get everything together in order to hammer him with everything at court in the possibility of getting a custodial sentence.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I agree with your last paragraph.. Its likely that they are referring to the CPS to consider the most appropriate charges based on the evidence. With the rest of your post, I am completely familiar with the legislation and procedures. My point refers to the process pre-charging. Its at the point of arrest that these things are often agreed.

    The reality is that plod will often use their "discretion" rather than making an arrest. I'm generally in favour of that, but sometimes they go for this option because they don't understand the required level of evidence and sometimes its because its simply inconvenient to make an arrest.

    In my own case (bus driver assault) the police officer was not interested in making an arrest because "no harm" had been done since he landed his punch on my helmet. Her view was arresting him would have left a bus load of passengers stranded. I had a lengthy conversation with the inspector who contacted me after and her words where pretty much as I said. They recorded his name against the crime. So either the officer did not know the legal test for assault (unlawful violence), she incorrectly used her discretion or she missed the bit where he admitted punching me and/or the inspector was giving me BS. In reality I think in the officers mind, since I was not bruised or bleeding, there was no assault.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    In those circumstances you should have registered a complaint against the officer. You were assaulted with all the elements present; an assault and battery took place and required positive action. It may have been it was your word against their's with no I dependant witnesses and in such circumstances the investigation is going nowhere. In your situation, the officer had the means to identify the driver and make an appointment to deal with them at the end of the journey without causing problems for the passengers. Discretion is a useful tool when used correctly, but in your incident it sounds very much like a lazy copper has let the side down. As someone approaching the end of their service, seven years of which were spent as a Custody Sergeant, I'd have torn her a new a***hole and sent her back out to deal with it properly.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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