Road rage driver jailed - Bedfordshire

02/11/2012

Angry road rage driver Robert Taylor was jailed for a year today, Friday, 02 November 2012, for attacking a chauffeur who had cut him up.

Taylor, 39, chased Richard Downes and blocked the road, so he could not get away. He pushed the 65-year-old back and punched him to the body and face, causing an eye injury.

A blow to the chin sent Mr Downes to the ground and as he was getting up Taylor grabbed his left hand and twisted it with such force the middle finger has been left permanently damaged.

Taylor of Vanbrugh Drive, Houghton Regis was convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court of causing actual bodily harm (ABH) to Mr Downes on 30 October last year.

The court heard that Mr Downes, who had a child in the car, had pulled out in front of Taylor near the Tesco supermarket between Luton and Dunstable. He claimed Mr Downes, who was on his way to pick up his wife, had put his finger up to him in a rude gesture.

Taylor had previous convictions including three attacks on his partner in August 2008.

In a victim impact statement Mr Downes said that he had trouble sleeping after the attack and could not work because he was unable to grip a steering wheel. The finger has been permanently damaged.  In December last year Mr Downes was treated for depression by his GP.

Defence barrister James Rouse said that the attack happened over a year ago and Taylor had stayed out of trouble. "There has been no repetition of this behaviour. He had learnt his lesson and expresses his remorse and regret. It was a heat of the moment incident."

He said Taylor is still in a relationship with his partner and has been suffering poor health after an operation on his back.

Jailing him, Judge David Farrell QC said: "It was a sustained, repeated assault. You were clearly angry. Instead of tooting your horn and leaving it at that you pursued his vehicle. There was some exchange of words. You pushed him backwards with force and punched him to the body and face. You grabbed his hand and twisted it with such force it caused a fracture and a permanent injury.

"This was a case of road rage. It was a vicious attack on an elderly motorist. You simply lost your temper."

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