Caravaner fined for shouting at cyclists

Ballat Crossroads near Drymen Picture: John Firth
Ballat Crossroads near Drymen Picture: John Firth
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A caravaner who shouted abuse at two cyclists he claimed had held him up was fined £225 after a sheriff pointed out that caravaners hold people up too.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard that the women, Heather Dickson and Susan Morgan, were cycling side-by-side along the A811 towards Drymen, Stirlingshire, from the direction of Ballat Crossroads.

Gail Russell, prosecuting, said: “I’m told they heard a ‘peep’ from behind them, and a silver 4x4, which was towing a caravan, slowed down and pulled alongside them.

“The accused shouted through the open window ‘get off the f*****g road’.

“He also shouted words to the effect that cyclist should not be using the road.”

The depute fiscal said the 4x4 then sped off.

Miss Russell said: “I am told both ladies were quite frightened by this behaviour, and they took the registration number and contacted the police.”

Robert McArthur, 50, who had his wife and adult daughter in the car with him at the time, was later identified as the driver.

McArthur, of Second Avenue, Alexandria, a charge hand plumber with West Dunbartonshire Council, pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive behaviour towards the cyclists.

The incident occurred about 2pm on August 31st last year.

Additional allegations that he had shaken his fist at them and swerved his car towards them, were dropped by the prosecution.

Defence solicitor Jack Adair said: “The two female cyclists had been riding along the road side-by-side.

“It’s not the best of roads to overtake on.

“The difficulty was that with the two cyclists riding side-by-side he was unable to overtake.

“That carried on for a period of time, and he was frustrated and over-reacted.”

Imposing the fine, Sheriff William Gilchrist told McArthur that even if he had been held up, his behaviour had been “quite unacceptable”.

He said: “I am sure that if you were towing a caravan and held someone up, and the car that had been behind you did that to you, you wouldn’t be very appreciative.”

Outside court, the cyclists, who would have given evidence had McArthur not pleaded guilty on the morning the case was due to go to trial, explained their reasons for riding side-by-side.

Ms Morgan said: “We cycle a lot and we are very careful. The fact is that is safer to cycle side-by-side.”

Ms Dickson added: “This man’s actions were absolutely terrifying. We would not have reported him if it had just been something minor.

“I think he should have got much more than a fine.”