Knocked off bike by car after words at roadside
A WOMAN motorist who knocked a cyclist off his bike in a case of road rage in Pontlliw has been found guilty of dangerous driving.
Victoria Elizabeth Williams said after the incident that she had merely been trying to scare the cyclist.
Williams, 26, of Brynamman Road, Lower Brynamman, pleaded not guilty when the case against her began on Wednesday at Swansea Crown Court.
The prosecution case, said barrister Christopher James, was that Williams had used her car as a weapon.
It was driving that fell "far below the standard expected of a reasonable, careful and competent driver".
Williams was unanimously found guilty by a jury.
Her bail was renewed when sentencing was adjourned for the preparation of a background report.
Giving evidence, complainant Gary Marshall told the court that on August 15, 2010, he and his wife Debbie went out for a ride on their bikes.
They were cycling on the A48 Swansea Road through Pontlliw when a Volvo 440 passed them, driven by Williams and containing her husband and children as passengers.
A plastic bottle was thrown from the Volvo, striking Mr Marshall on the arm.
Mr Marshall gesticulated and swore, demanding: "What are you playing at?"
Williams's husband then got out of the vehicle and there was a stand-off between the two men in which words were exchanged.
"I wanted to know why he had thrown a bottle at me," said Mr Marshall.
Mr Marshall said he decided to carry on with his journey after Debbie Marshall told him: "He's not worth it."
As he passed the Volvo, Mr Marshall remarked to Williams in the driver's seat: "You're as bad as he is."
When he was 20ft in front of the Volvo, he heard the car driving towards him and he stopped and turned round to see what was happening.
His bike was then struck by the car and he was knocked off it.
"Before I knew it, half of my body, up to my waist, was underneath the car," said Mr Marshall.
"I was in a state of complete and utter shock and disbelief."
The court heard that Mr Marshall suffered injuries to his knees, side and arm in the incident and his bike was a complete write-off.
Interviewed after her arrest, the court heard Williams claimed her purpose had been to scare Mr Marshall, not to hit him.
She claimed he had sworn in front of her children, who were in the back of the car.
She denied her driving had been dangerous but conceded it had been careless.
Giving evidence, Williams claimed that when Mr Marshall braked she was too close to stop. The collision had been unintentional, she said, and she had not used her car as a weapon.