A FARMER convicted of pushing two cyclists off their bikes in a pedestrian rage incident has been ordered to pay them a total of £600 compensation.
A court heard that 53-year-old Ards man Grant Shaw Stephen McKee took issue with bike riders Terry Nicoletti and Noel Boyce "cycling so close to him".
Both men are experienced cyclists and members of the well-known North Down Cycling Club.
They were cycling on the road in one of the club's weekend events on the peninsula.
McKee told police he had not intended to knock the cyclists over during the incident on the Ballyblack Road, Ards, on February 3.
A prosecutor said the injured parties saw McKee waving his arms as they cycled towards him and he then pushed one of the cyclists, who went careering into the other. The domino effect caused both to fall to the ground.
The pair's clothing and a bike belonging to Mr Boyce were damaged.
One of the men also suffered grazing.
McKee later told police he was sorry and hadn't intended to knock the men over.
A defence lawyer described the incident as "bizarre", adding: "He (McKee) was walking on a pavement on Ballyblack Road, and took issue that they were cycling so close to him."
The lawyer told Ards Magistrates Court his client was a farmer who did not have a regular income, and added the estimated damage to the bike was £250.
Sentencing McKee on two counts of assault and two of causing criminal damage, District Judge Mark Hamill ordered the farmer to pay compensation of £300 to each of his victims.
He gave him a conditional discharge of 12 months on each of the four charges.
At the time, Mr Nicoletti was asked about the incident by another North Down Cycle Club member on the club's open Facebook.
He replied: "Not for public consumption yet - cops dealing with the perpetrator. Me and other bike's a bit battered but we will live to ride another day!"