Carl Walker, 31, mounted the pavement to stop HGV driver Tony Banks in Bingley before hitting him in the face

A man who climbed up the side of an HGV to assault the driver following a fit of “road rage” has been spared jail. Carl Walker, 31, chased a Yorkshire Water lorry being driven by Tony Banks before overtaking it on the pavement on Wagon Lane, Bingley, forcing it to stop. He was handed a suspended prison sentence, a punishment branded “totally wrong” by his victim.

Prosecutor Philip Adams told Bradford Crown Court that on November 25 last year, Walker had been driving on Saltaire Road in the Shipley area when he felt the HGV hadn’t given him enough room to pass. He proceeded to chase Mr Banks, flashing his headlights at him as the pair drove towards Bingley. When they reached Wagon Lane, the court heard that Walker mounted the pavement before pulling in front of Mr Banks, forcing him to slam the brakes on.

The defendant then got out of his car and used the wing mirrors to climb up the cab of the lorry and hit his victim in the face, damaging his glasses. He then kicked the headlight of the vehicle, causing GBP1,500 worth of damage, before leaving the scene. Describing Walker’s behaviour, Mr Adams said: “This was a road-rage incident.”

Mohammed Rafiq, defending, said Walker, of Royal Grove, Hunslet, Leeds, had no previous convictions and was a man of good character. He admitted that his client, who works as a metal spinner, had indulged in a “moment of madness.” Walker pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, criminal damage, and assault.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said “98 or 99 people out of 100” would go to prison for offences involving dangerous driving, particularly where there was a police chase or pedestrians put at risk. But he said Walker’s was an isolated incident that he was persuaded could be dealt with by punishment in the community. He told him: “All common sense seems to have gone out of the window.

“This was a bad episode Mr Walker. You will do 200 hours unpaid work, I think that is fair and appropriate.” Walker was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay GBP1,000 in compensation to Mr Banks.

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Banks, a former soldier, said he was “gutted” at the outcome. He said: “What have you got to do to get jailed?” “This went on for about ten minutes.

At several points he could have stopped, but this guy wasn’t going to give up. “He pulled right in front of me and I nearly went over the top of him. Then he punched me.”

Mr Banks, who has worked as an HGV driver for the past eight years, added: “It’s a disgrace that you go to work, get assaulted, and the person walks out of the court.

“I’m absolutely furious.

It’s just totally wrong.”

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