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A bus driver who deliberately knocked a cyclist down in
Bristol using his bus "as a weapon" has been jailed.
Gavin Hill, 29, of Frome, previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and
causing grievous bodily harm.
Bristol Crown Court heard that after an altercation, Hill deliberately
knocked Phillip Mead off his bike by swerving the bus into his path.
Sentencing Hill to 17 months in jail, Judge Mark Horton said his action "was
not an accident".
"You used the bus as a weapon to bully and intimidate Mr Mead," he added.
Hill was told he would serve half his sentence before being considered for
release on licence.Continued to argue
The court was told the incident started on the morning of 5 April 2011 when
Hill had driven too close to Mr Mead on the nearby St James Barton
Moments later the bus stopped outside Bristol Magistrates' Court and Mr Mead
propped his bike against the front of the vehicle.
He continued to argue with Hill, who remained in his cab.
It's about time cyclists were treated as human
beings”End Quote Martin McDonnell Bristol Cycling Campaign
The court was played CCTV footage which showed Mr Mead
cycle off. Moments later the footage shows the bus overtaking him before sharply
swerving to the left knocking the cyclist over.
Mr Mead suffered a broken leg and his bike was crushed.
The court was told Hill, a qualified driver with 10 years' experience, was
previously of excellent character and his defence accepted the collision
happened in "a moment of madness".
Gerald Creed, managing director of Bugler Coaches, said Hill had been sacked
by the company on the day the incident happened.
He added that the firm's sympathies lay with Mr Mead.
Martin McDonnell, from Bristol Cycling Campaign, said incidents like this
were happening far too often.
"It's about time cyclists were treated as human beings and not just flesh,"
"As a group we're calling on Bristol City Council to do more to increase
cycle safety in the city and to pledge their support to the Sunday
Times Safer Cycling campaign," he added.