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Animosity to Cyclists - 1896

Loughborough Herald - 5th November 1896

William Richardson, butcher, Quorn, pleaded not guilty to a charge of furious driving at Quorn on the 22nd October. Mr Moss defended. Charles Ernest Hodgkin, 52 Park-road, Loughborough, stated that at six o'clock on the Thursday evening in question he started on his bicycle for Leicester. On nearing Quorn he came up with a vehicle, and rang his bell. Immediately he had passed the driver urged the horse on, and witness slackened to let him pass. The driver then drove zig zag to prevent his passing him. Witness kept behind, and when the zig-zagging ceased he rode on in front of him. The horse was then driven at a greater rate, and although he also increased his pace, the horse kept on front. A vehicle was coming in the opposite direction and he called upon the driver to stop, as he was afraid there would be a collision, but nothing occurred, and the man got out of the cart. Witness took the opportunity of getting by him, but the man entered the cart again and drove at the rate of about twenty miles an hour. Witness was riding at the rate of sixteen.

Shortly after, when nearing Mountsorrel, another vehicle came along in the opposite direction, and he heard a noise as though a collision had taken place. He rode on, but the horse, freed by the collision, pursued him. During the race the driver frequently shouted, "Stop! I will stop you." By Mr Moss: "The horse was not frightened in the least by the light from his lamp?" Arthur Gamble, carrier, said as he was driving into Quorn at the Barrow-lane end he heard the noise of a horse and cart coming from the direction of Loughborough at a furious rate, and he had to run his horse on the pavement to let them pass. Richardson was driving and shouting to the horse to "go on."

Witness eventually came up with the defendant again on Mountsorrel Hill. He had come into collision with another vehicle, and was lying in the road in an unconscious condition. Defendant lived in Quorn, and the place where this happened was three-quarters of a mile beyond his residence. Sergeant Collis stated that when he served the summons defendant admitted that he was driving at a fair pace. He said it would not have arisen had it not been for some bicyclists. He drove on after them to catch them. The shafts of the vehicle run into were broken.

In answer to the bench, the sergeant said he should say the defendant had had a lot of drink. Mr Moss, addressing the bench, said the horse was frightened by Mr Hodgkin's cycle light. Walter Thornton, Quorn, said as he was coming along the footpath from Mountsorrel he heard the noise of a horse galloping towards him. About 15 yards in front of the cart was a cyclist riding at a rapid rate. When the horse passed him it appeared to have been startled, and after he had gone on about 50 yards the collision occurred.

The Bench, after consulting in private, said they were of opinion that the case had been proved up to the hilt. There was no doubt defendant had had plenty to drink, and he had driven beyond his home. Their opinion was that he had tried to run down the cyclist. He would be fined 2.

 Submitted on: 2013-03-17
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1770
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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