North Yorkshire road rage van driver pulled triathlete from bike

Image caption,
Martin Lee (right) had stopped his van to attack a female cyclist on a country road in May 2017

A van driver pulled a triathlete from her bike, seriously injuring her, after she swerved in front of him to avoid a dog, a court heard.

York Crown Court was told Martin Lee, 46, stopped his van to confront cyclist Caroline Livesey in May 2017.

Lee, from Lofthouse, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm at an earlier hearing.

He was given a six-month suspended sentence at York Crown and ordered to pay Miss Livesey £5,000 compensation.

She had hoped to qualify for the world championships but was unable to train for eight weeks following the attack.

Lee was also ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work.

York Crown Court heard Lee had been driving his silver Ford Transit at around 13:00 BST on Low Wath Road, Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, when Miss Livesey had swerved in front of him.

Miss Livesey, 38, a semi-professional triathlete from Harrogate, was left with a bone fracture in the pelvic region and cuts and bruises to her lower back and head following the assault.

After wrenching her from the bike, Lee said "I thought you were a bloke" and the court was told he was immediately apologetic.

Miss Livesey said she was relieved the legal process had finished.

"It had a big impact on me, it is not something you expect and it's not something you are taught how to deal with.

"Being assaulted is a traumatic experience. It was very scary."

Image source, Caroline Livesey
Image caption,
Caroline Livesey, a semi-professional triathlete, was seriously injured after being pulled from her bike

Inspector David Barf, from North Yorkshire Police, said the force was committed to ensuring the roads were safe for everyone.

"This was clearly a decision on the part of the driver and it resulted in a completely unacceptable assault on a pedal cyclist.

"These things are rare but the roads should be a safe place and people should be able to use them without fear of being assaulted."

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