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Road rage driver knocked over cyclist who called him a "f***ing w***er"; Sean Furlong sent his victim flying over his car bonnet then "left him for dead".

Byline: Neil Docking

A road rage driver knocked a cyclist off his bike sending him flying over his car bonnet then "left him for dead".

Sean Furlong, 49,saw redwhen Kenneth Cawsey, 50, challenged him over his dangerous driving and called him a "f***ing w***er".

He then sped away leaving the grandad, who suffered a broken shoulder and a deep gash to his right knee, in "excruciating pain".

Liverpool Crown Courtheard Furlong, in his silver Ford Focus, overtook Mr Cawsey inCrosby Road South, Seaforthon June 10 last year.

The victim said Furlong, of Lambourne Road, Walton, swerved in front of him, nearly hitting the kerb with his front nearside wheel, at 9.50pm.

Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said Furlong stopped at traffic lights and Mr Cawsey rode up to his open window and said: "Are you blind or are you an idiot?"

The victim said he cycled off, but when the lights changed Furlong sped up behind him, "got extremely close", then "slammed on the brakes".

Mr Dillon said: "Mr Cawsey turned his head to Mr Furlong, put his arm out and said, I quote from Mr Cawsey's own account: 'What are you doing? You f***ing w***er.'

"In response, Mr Cawsey says Mr Furlong put his full beam on and accelerated towards Mr Cawsey and Mr Cawsey believes the vehicle was turned inwards slightly.

"In any event, he clipped the rear wheel of Mr Cawsey's pedal cycle. The Crown cannot say this clipping of the cycle was in any way a deliberate act.

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"The Crown's case is that in the aftermath of the verbals that had occurred earlier and the seriously scruffy driving that had caused Mr Cawsey to react in that way, Mr Furlong drove too fast, too close and too dangerously and caused the clipping of the cycle."

A police officer in a marked car, who saw Furlong hit his victim's bike then drive off, stopped and arrested him further down the road.

Mr Dillon said Furlong replied "I may have clipped him, I'm not sure" but it would have been obvious given the impact, which buckled the [pounds sterling]450 bike's back wheel.

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He described it as "road rage", adding Furlong reacted to "relatively provocative behaviour" by Mr Cawsey, which was a result of his own "substandard driving".

Mr Cawsey told the court he still has bone fragments floating around in his right shoulder, which may be remedied by keyhole surgery.

He was already recovering from an operation to his knee, where he now has a scar, and the injury has caused him to limp and give up cycling.

The heavy engineering specialist, who still can't raise his right arm fully or pick his grandchildren up, had to take nine weeks off work, then return on light duties.

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Furlong was charged with wounding and dangerous driving, later amended to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which he admitted at the start of a trial.

His criminal record includes reckless driving in 1989 and he was last convicted in 1991, when jailed for six years for aggravated burglary.

Andrew McInnes, defending, said it was a "moment of madness" and his "remorseful" client regretted injuring Mr Cawsey.

He said Furlong had held a driving licence for 19 years and a motorcycle licence for 16 years, without incident, save for speeding offences.

Mr McInnes said: "The defendant, whose hobby is photography, had been to a local beauty spot that evening, Crosby Beach, to take photos of the sunset."

He said the "angry altercation" was therefore surprising as Furlong was in a good mood, but Mr Cawsey angered him and cycled through red lights.

The lawyer said: "The prosecution do accept the defendant didn't intend to use his car as a weapon, nor did he deliberately swerve at Mr Cawsey."

Mr McInnes accepted Furlong "sped up behind" Mr Cawsey, perhaps intending to further remonstrate with him, "in a fit of pique".

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He urged Recorder Jonathan Gavaghan to impose a suspended sentence so Furlong could be rehabilitated in the community.

Mr McInnes said if jailed he would lose his job - significantly affecting his family's income - and not be able to help care for his elderly mum and uncle.

He said: "It's clear from his partner's letter he is a wholly different person for 99 per cent of the time."

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The judge told Furlong the incident began when he "almost hit" his victim and when challenged "your already poor driving became dangerous".

Recorder Gavaghan said: "A significant aggravating factor is you did not stop, despite the fact the victim rolled over the bonnet of your car. You left him for dead."

The judge jailed Furlong for 14 months and banned him from the road for two years and seven months, as his partner sobbed in the public gallery.

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Credit: Liverpool Echo

Sean Furlong, 49, of Lambourne Road, Walton, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving
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Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2019
Words:859
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