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Councillor punched and kicked in mobility vehicle road-rage incident
5:10pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
A Craven councillor became the victim of a road rage incident when he overtook a man in a mobility vehicle, magistrates heard.
Coun Ady Green was chased to his home in Cowling on May 22 last year, where he was punched and kicked by Ryan Gunnigle, whom he had earlier overtaken on his motorbike, the court heard on Monday.
Gunnigle, who was driving his Vauxhall Insignia mobility vehicle in carpet slippers because of diabetic complications, had overtaken Mr Green in what a witness described as an act of “lunacy”, Skipton Court was told.
Mr Green had then overtaken Gunnigle, who had chased him at speed all the way back to Colne Road in Cowling.
Prosecuting, Hilary Reece said Mr Green pulled into his driveway and still had his motorbike helmet on when Gunnigle came up to him, punching and kicking.
“Mr Green fell over, got up and defended himself, and there was a fight between them,” she said.
An off-duty police officer, believing he had come across a collision between two vehicles, got between the two men and told Gunnigle to retreat to his car. But shortly afterwards, Gunnigle took off and was later arrested at his home in Wigan, said Mrs Reece.
Gunnigle, who originally denied assault by beating, changed his plea before Monday’s trial – involving several witnesses – was due to take place.
In mitigation, Martin Jones said his client accepted he had been very angry and he should not have acted in the way he had.
He had been collecting his partner from her mother’s house in Keighley, and was on his way home to Wigan at the time.
“Clearly something happened from Keighley to this area. He was not looking for trouble, he was not dressed for trouble – he was wearing carpet slippers. Whatever happened, he accepts it does not excuse his behaviour,” said Mr Jones.
Mr Green, who in addition to having a lump on his forehead and various cuts and bruises, had a ruined £350 suit. Gunnigle suffered various bruises to his face and body.
Mr Jones said Gunnigle was a type one diabetic with nerve damage to his feet, which led him to wear carpet slippers. He had left the scene because he feared he was about to go into a diabetic coma and needed something to eat.
Magistrates told Gunnigle, of Greenall Street, Ashton-in-Makerfield, it had been a sustained attack with aggravating features in that he had used his feet, although he had been wearing slippers at the time.
They adjourned sentencing for reports and told him they were advising a medium to high-level punishment, including supervision, curfew and an anger management programme.