Road-rage attacker hit motorcyclist with mallet, court told

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A MOTORCYCLIST was hit with a mallet during a unprovoked road-rage attack at traffic lights, a court heard yesterday.

Paul Wisdom, 41, told the court the driver of a 4x4 hurled abuse, such as: "I hope you crash your bike and die", before swinging the weapon at him.

He then drove at Mr Wisdom and his passenger as he tried to call police, trapping him between the two vehicles.

Yesterday, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he identified Bernard Docherty, 55, as his attacker. He insisted that he had never met Docherty before the incident and had no idea why he was targeted.

Docherty denies his involvement in the incident.

Mr Wisdom told the jury he had agreed to drive his friend Shaun Leonard to a party in Merchiston last August.

During the short ride, the two were driving alongside a Jeep, and both vehicles were stopped at traffic lights.

Mr Wisdom said that, on hearing shouting, he began to look around. He said: "The first thing I heard was someone shouting and I wasn't sure where I was coming from.

"But then I heard 'I hope you crash your f****** bike', and I looked round and saw the man in the Jeep staring at me."

Mr Wisdom told the jury how, over the next few minutes, he was subjected to a number of different threats, including: "I will cover you in petrol so you burn to death".

He said: "I had never seen this man before in my life. I kept asking him what his problem was. I kept looking up at the traffic lights – I just wanted them to change and I was off. I just wanted to get us away from him."

It was claimed that Docherty then produced a rubber mallet and began swinging it at the pair from his car window, while still shouting threats at them.

Mr Wisdom told the court he switched off the ignition so he could retrieve his mobile phone from the storage compartment underneath his seat and call the police.

But before he had the chance to take the key from the ignition, the 4x4 came crashing into his motorbike.

He said: "The Jeep came swiping over and caught me. It trapped my left leg against the bike's left foot-peg and its own side-steps. I could feel pressure, even though my leathers and boots are quite thick material."

It was alleged that throughout the attack, the accused was laughing.

Mr Wisdom went on: "I heard laughing. I was screaming in pain and I was also shouting at him and asking him why – but he hit me on the head with the mallet, then rolled up his window."

Docherty denies the charges of breach of the peace, possession of a mallet, attempting to assault both men involved, driving a motor vehicle dangerously and possession of a lock knife.

The trial continues.

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