Road-rage driver made threats to kill motorist who ‘cut him up’

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A disabled driver who threatened to kill a fellow motorist during an angry ‘road rage’ row has been hit with a hefty court fine.

Christopher McGeary pulled up alongside a Citroen van driver and slammed the door of his car against his vehicle before trying to pull of its wing mirror, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

He shouted at the victim that he was disabled and grabbed the man’s arm through an open car window before making an angry threat.

When the 55-year-old was arrested he told officers that he believed the van driver had ‘cut him off’.

The court heard that McGeary, of Salem Street, Jarrow, suffered a brain injury in a serious assault in 2004.

McGeary admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence.

Defending, Ian Cassidy said his brain condition had an impact upon his reaction to the road dispute.

Rebecca Laverick, prosecuting, said: “These are events which have arisen out of a type of road rage.

“On May 28, the van driver was travelling along Ellison Street, Jarrow when he saw a Nissan car with its hazard lights on appearing to slow down.

“He believed it was stopping so he overtook it.

“The Nissan driver sped up alongside him and they came to a stop at traffic lights.

“McGeary tried to pull the wing mirror off the vehicle and shouted that he was disabled and shouted that he would kill him.”

Ian Cassidy, defending, said: “He accepts this was a very upsetting incident, but it was for him too.

“He accepts he was guilty of carrying out the offence.

“From his point of view, he says the other driver cut him up – there was some level of provocation, but it doesn’t excuse his behaviour.

“He suffered brain injuries in an assault in 2004.

“This was an impulsive action. The way he behaves has been impacted upon by his injuries.

“He is very sorry for what happened.”

McGeary was fined £320 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim.

He must also pay a criminal courts charge of £150 as well prosecution costs of £85 and a £32 victim surcharge.