Driver jailed over road rage murder
Published 07/05/2010 | 17:02
A driver who deliberately knocked down and killed a cyclist in a road rage attack was jailed for life after being convicted of murder.
A judge at Warwick Crown Court ordered Sean Richard Fitzgerald, who claimed the collision with Paul Webb was an accident, to serve at least 13 years before being considered for parole.
A six-day trial heard that Fitzgerald, 36, "used his car as a weapon" to target Mr Webb after the cyclist damaged his wing mirror and pedalled away from the scene of the initial collision.
Fitzgerald, of Bennetts Road North, Keresley End, Coventry, pulled over at the side of the road after the first incident, but then chased and rammed Mr Webb's mountain bike, catapulting him into a wall near a pub.
Mr Webb, a 42-year-old warehouse worker, died at the scene in Bennetts Road South, Coventry, on April 16 last year, after suffering a catalogue of fractures and internal injuries.
In a statement read to the court on the second day of Fitzgerald's trial, forensic pathologist James Lucas said all of Mr Webb's left ribs were found to be fractured.
Dr Lucas, who conducted a post-mortem examination on April 17, recorded the cause of Mr Webb's death as multiple injuries sustained in a collision.
The most serious of the injuries, the court heard, involved Mr Webb's chest area and included seven lung punctures and a tear in his main artery.
In his statement, Dr Lucas also confirmed that he had identified damage to the liver and various fractures of the skull, shoulder blade, pelvis and spine.
A court official confirmed that Fitzgerald was convicted of murder and no verdict was taken on a lesser alternative charge of causing death by dangerous driving.