A bus driver who swerved towards a cyclist out of spite in a terrifying act of road rage has been told he faces jail.
Cyclist Phillip Mead suffered a broken leg, wrist and thumb when he was hit by the bus driven by Gavin Hill while his bike was crushed beneath the vehicle’s wheels.
Mr Mead spent two weeks in hospital and needed an operation to repair his left knee.
Hill, 29, from Frome, Somerset, was immediately sacked by Bugler Coaches for whom he had been driving during the incident at 8.30am on April 5 last year. He admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving at court yesterday.
Mr Mead and Hill had been involved in an altercation at the St James Barton roundabout in Bristol and words were exchanged. Shortly after the confrontation the single-decker bus overtook Mr Mead before lurching sharply towards him.
Mr Mead was struck on the shoulder knocking him 10ft across the road and crushing his bike outside Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Marlborough Street. Police attended to find Mr Mead being treated by paramedics and Hill was arrested at the scene.
At Bristol Crown Court yesterday, presiding judge Recorder Frank Abbot said: “My understanding is he drove his bus in the direction of the bicycle after, at worst, losing his cool. He drove in his direction to frighten him or show him whose boss but caused much more damage.”
Timothy Rose, defending, agreed saying: “Doing it caused obvious risk of serious harm.”
Mr Rose said Hill had initially entered his guilty pleas at the first possible opportunity on October 6 and requested a pre sentence report.
Recorder Abbot told Hill: “It must not be thought that this is not a serious matter.
“You drove in a way that was patently dangerous and in my view you did it out of spite towards the cyclist with catastrophic results.
“He could have been killed and you would have been facing a much more serious offence.
“However causing someone grievous bodily harm is a very serious matter and the most likely sentence is a custodial one and you must realise that is what will be at the forefront of the sentencing judges’ mind.”
Gerald Creed, managing director of Bugler Coaches said: “We were deeply shocked when we heard of this incident and once we had established what had happened Mr Hill was immediately dismissed as we did not want him driving one of our buses ever again.”
He added: “We are proud of all our drivers who are extremely professional and highly vigilant of the safety of passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
“We can assure all passengers that this was an isolated incident by a driver that badly let down our company.
“As a cyclist myself I am very aware that some drivers of large vehicles, both buses and lorries, treat cyclists as a nuisance as indeed do some car drivers.”
Hill, of Slipps Close in Frome, was granted bail and will be sentenced later this month.