Motorist jailed for 'scaring living daylights' out of cyclists
A motorist has been jailed for more than two years after being found guilty of deliberately driving head-on at two cyclists to either force them off the road or "scare the living daylights" out of them.
Dean Goble, 40, targeted them in two separate incidents 10 days apart nearly two years ago in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
The two cyclists, David Jones and Jeremy Maiden, were each riding alone when suddenly from the opposite direction Goble swerved at them head-on in his dark blue V-reg Peugeot 206 hatchback car.
Prosecutor Michael Butt told Swindon Crown Court: "It will be plain from the evidence you will hear from these cyclists that this was a deliberate act by a driver who either wished to scare the living daylights out of the cyclist or perhaps even worse run them off the road."
The first incident on April 30 2014 on Ashton Road in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire was captured on a camera mounted on Mr Jones's helmet and shows the driver at about 50mph hooting his horn and heading towards the cyclist.
At the last minute the car swerves out of the way and disappears into the distance. Mr Jones downloaded the footage and reported the driver to the police.
The registration plate of Goble's car was identified from the film and he was later arrested.
Mr Jones told jurors: "The whole incident was over in less than two seconds. To tell you the truth it happened so quickly and it was all a bit of a shock.
"I think if I had veered to the right I would have been in collision with the vehicle. The car came directly towards me."
Mr Maiden recalled the incident of May 7 on an unclassified road between Ewen and Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
"I found it very traumatic because for a split second you think the car is going to hit you," he said.
Goble, of Parkway, Siddington, Cirencester, Gloucestershire was convicted of two charges of dangerous driving but acquitted of a third following nearly five hours' deliberations.
Giving evidence, Goble admitted he was driving during the incident with Mr Jones but denied he drove dangerously - claiming he was trying to avoid a pothole.
And he insisted his brother was driving the Peugeot during the incidents with Mr Maiden and the third alleged victim Amanda Adams.
"I just didn't want to get my brother into bother. It's not a lie," Goble said.
Goble gave no explanation in court for acting in the way he did and insisted he was a "keen cyclist".
Even his barrister Michael Pulsford described the offending as "bizarre" during his closing speech to the jury.
The court heard that Goble has 20 previous convictions dating back to his teens for handling stolen goods, burglary, violent disorder, criminal damage, affray, dangerous driving and supplying Class A drugs.
Jailing Goble for two-and-a-half-years, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "The jury have convicted you of two offences which involved you deliberately driving your car at speed towards cyclists coming in the opposite direction.
"It is quite apparent to me your intention in driving that way was to frighten them in the extreme and to put each of them in serious fear of injury.
"All it would have taken was a moment of unsteadiness by either or both of these cyclists for you to cause very serious injury.
"The question arises as to why you did it and perhaps the answer is that it is typical of your aggressive and bullying nature which appears to be observed from your previous convictions you have collected over many years.
"This was a deliberate action on your part which was dangerous in the extreme and it was fortunate no one was killed and that must be very much a matter of luck rather than judgment exercised on your part."
Goble was also banned from driving for two years, ordered to take an extended driving test and pay £120 surcharge.
Speaking after sentencing, Sergeant Barrie Card, of Wiltshire Police, said: "I think the sentencing sends out a very strong message that a car should not be used as a weapon.
"The defendant drove deliberately at these road users and cyclists are vulnerable. I tried putting myself in the position those cyclists must have been in with a car coming straight towards them at 50mph and it must have been extremely frightening.
"There would have been that split-second that you would not have known that car was going to turn away or not or whether you were going to be killed."