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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Biker launched 'road rage' attack on man who stepped out in front of him

A man has admitted attacking a drunk who stepped out in front of him as he was riding his motorbike in west Cumbria.

Stephen David Hogg, 49, got off his bike, pushed 32-year-old Ryan Hoskins to the ground and kicked him in what was described at Carlisle Crown Court as a “clear example of road rage”. Mr Hoskins suffered a cut to his head, possibly from falling against the kerb and needed treatment in hospital.

Hogg, of Nelson Square, Egremont, pleaded guilty to causing him actual bodily harm. The court heard that the incident happened on May 12 last year when Mr Hoskins wandered into Hogg’s path.

The biker – whose grandson was riding pillion – was so annoyed he got off his bike and hit him.

Defence barrister Greg Hoare said Hogg admitted kicking Mr Hoskins as he lay on the ground, though he insisted he had not kicked him to the head.

An ambulance crew who treated Mr Hoskins for the cut head said it could have been caused by his striking the kerb as he fell, the court heard.

Mr Hoare said Hogg had simply “over-reacted”, though that explanation was rejected by the judge, who said it wrongly implied that Mr Hoskins had deserved some sort of retribution.

The prosecution claimed Hogg was also responsible for Mr Hoskin’s black eye, but Judge Peter Davies said he could not accept that since a doctor who saw him just 20 minutes after the incident made no mention of it and reported that the cut to his head was the only injury.

The judge added that evidence from witnesses was “inconsistent” about how many kicks Hogg had administered.

But he said it did not matter much anyway, since what Hogg admitted was serious enough.

“He attacked a man who was drunk, knocked him to the ground and then kicked him – while he was on the ground defenceless – with his shod foot,” the judge said.

He told Hogg: “Be in no doubt, you are in a very serious position. Courts view this sort of public violence extremely seriously and there could be a custodial sentence.”

Hogg was remanded on bail for background reports and will be sentenced on February 22.

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