Helston road rage row driver punched teacher

First published in Helston
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Falmouth Packet: Photograph of the Author by , Ex-Reporter/Photographer

A road rage row at Lanner landed a Helston driver in court last week.

Eric Idalo Barker, of Main Road, Ashton pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates' Court on Thursday to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards Nicholas Roberts on August 10 last year.

The 66-year-old had come up behind Mr Roberts, who is in his thirties, at a junction near Lanner following a journey “where both drivers felt the other had been driving pretty badly,” said Anita Kennett, prosecuting.

Both men got out of their cars and the younger man, who is a teacher, swung a punch at Barker but missed, the court heard. A return punch by Barker knocked the teacher's glasses right off his face.

The older man carried on shouting at Mr Roberts and he “accepts that continuing to be aggressive was unnecessary and that he should have backed off and not continued with his aggressive manner,” Mrs Kennett said.

Paul Gallagher, for the defence, said his client was “not someone who would ever start any violence, but he does not like bullies and he is not someone who will back down.”

Barker “was particular unhappy” with the other man's driving, Mr Gallagher said - although “he really should have let it go once the glasses had been knocked off.

“He should have climbed down, he should have left it but he didn't.”

Chair of the magistrates, John Chandler, fined Barker £220, reduced from £335 for an early guilty plea.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

A charge of assault by beating was withdrawn.

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