Fitness trainer Ross Masterson 'lost control' in road rage bust-up
A well-known gym owner and personal fitness trainer has been ordered to carry out 80 hours of community service after a road rage incident in Larne last year.
Ross Masterson (30), of Lewis Mews in Belfast, appeared in court yesterday.
He was at Ballymena Magistrates Court accused of causing £570 worth of damage to the bonnet of a woman's Hyundai Getz in October 2015.
He admitted a charge of criminal damage during a bust-up at a filling station forecourt.
A prosecutor said the incident happened after a minor road traffic incident at Millbrook roundabout.
A sports car was being driven by Masterson's partner and at the filling station the Hyundai driver pulled in and asked: "Where did you get your licence?"
The prosecutor said Masterson referred to a death in the family and approached the woman's vehicle three times, and left a dent in the bonnet.
During police interview Masterson alleged the injured party shouted at his partner and he didn't know if he struck the bonnet with his hand or knee as he walked past. He said he had a broken elbow at the time.
Defence barrister Stephen Law said his client accepted there was contact.
Mr Law said Masterson's partner earlier may have involuntarily "cut up" the other driver in a driving manoeuvre and he alleged the injured party then followed, flashing lights and sounding the horn.
Mr Law said Masterson remonstrated with the injured party.
The lawyer said news had come through on the day of the incident that Masterson's partner's grandfather had died.
Imposing 80 hours' community service, Deputy District Judge Phillip Mateer acknowledged Masterson did not start the incident and was in a heightened emotional state because of bereavement when the injured party made a "smart" comment, asking where his partner had bought their licence.
The judge said it was a lesson not to get involved in incidents like this.
He noted Masterson was a "well-built" man involved in the world of fitness and no doubt he instilled fear in the injured party having "lost control".
The judge said the defendant had to learn to control himself, particularly as he had an "intimidating frame".
Masterson also has to pay £570 compensation.