Driver ran over cyclist twice before threatening to stab him, court hears

Stephen Bates

Stephen Bates - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A 40-year-old repeatedly ran over a cyclist with his van before threatening to stab him, a court has heard.

Stephen Bates had been having a chat and a laugh with the victim before suggesting they go to the King’s Head pub in Loddon.

Norwich Crown Court heard Bates got in his transit van while the victim got on his electric bike to go to the pub.

Simon Sandford, prosecuting, said the victim was cycling down the road in Chedgrave and thought Bates was “going to overtake but ran over him”.

The court heard the van went over the victim’s legs in the incident on May 14, 2017.

Mr Sandford said the victim thought it was an accident and while hopping on his leg asked “what are you doing"?

But Bates then put the van into reverse and ran over the victim’s bike a second time before striking his knee and legs.

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Mr Sandford said Bates then went for the victim again although could not hit him as the van could not get up the embankment where he had scrambled to.

The court was told the victim was “petrified” and “froze”.

Mr Sanford said Bates got out of the van and said he was “crazy” before accusing the victim of having said he was coming to burn his caravan down.

He also told the victim he had a knife and “was going to stab him”.

Bates asked for the victim’s bag, a rucksack worth about £40, which contained some medication.

Laura Bell and Edwin Stratton appeared at Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

The victim’s bike, worth £600, was damaged in the incident, as were his glasses.

An ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered a displaced fracture of his left knee as well as an injury to his shoulder and other grazes and bruises.

The victim has also been told he is now of a significant risk of developing osteoarthritis in his left knee in the next 10 to 15 years.

Bates was later arrested and denied knocking the victim over but said the victim had burnt his caravan and had threatened to stab him.

A statement from the victim said he had suffered from anxiety for the past 20 years but that this incident had made things much worse.

He said it was a huge hurdle and now does not get into a car with anyone else apart from an ex-partner as he fears he will be stabbed.

He said he has no friends and following the death of his father in 2018 has nothing left.

He drinks cider as he wants to be “part of something rather than part of nothing”.

Bates, from Clacton-on-Sea, appeared at court on Thursday (February 11) having previously admitted one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm and another of theft.

Sentencing him to a total of 42 months in prison, Judge Katherine Moore said Bates had "engaged in a dangerous, frightening and quite shameful” act of offending on a public road.

Judge Moore said Bates used the vehicle he was driving “as a weapon”, driving at least twice at the victim, running over his electric bike and sending him “flying over the bonnet” before reversing over him again before he could “scramble to safety”.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court.

She said he then threatened to stab the terrified victim before stealing his rucksack.

Danielle O’Donovan, mitigating, said it had not been planned as Bates had offered to give the victim a lift.

She said it was highly significant that the victim had threatened to burn down his caravan as the defendant’s brother had taken his own life in a similar and “horrendous” fashion when Bates was just 10.

Bates has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia since he was 19 but no longer took medication and had a mental health condition at the time of the offence.
 

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