Chef in road rage attack

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse - Credit: Archant

A MAN who tailgated another driver before punching him repeatedly through his car window was handed a 26-week suspended prison sentence on Monday.

Paul Knight, aged 38 of Halletts Way in Portishead, was seen swerving his car and shaking his fists on April 17 after becoming angry with Marcus Pople, who was driving in front of him.

Knight then overtook on the opposite side of the road, forcing oncoming traffic out of the way and speeding through a pedestrian crossing.

He then abandoned his car in the middle of Wyndham Way and walked towards Mr Pople’s car. Knight then leant through the car window before punching his victim three times in the face and neck.

In a statement read at North Somerset Courthouse, Mr Pople said: “The incident has left me feeling very uneasy and I have since changed my driving route, as going down that street brings back lots of bad memories.

“I often think about the possibility of seeing the defendant in Portishead and I am in constant fear of him being violent towards me again.

“I am now much more cautious in everything I do.”

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Nigel Yeo, mitigating, told magistrates father-of-two Knight has since accepted he needs to work on his ‘anger issues’.

He said: “Mr Knight understands that he would not be appearing here today if he had not got out of his car that day.

“Mr Knight works as a pub chef and tries his best to lead an industrious and productive life. He accepts that he needs help to control his temper.”

Knight was convicted of dangerous driving, assault, failing to surrender and driving without a licence or insurance.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He also received a 15-month driving ban, was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work and will be required to attend aggression management workshops.

Knight was also ordered to pay £620 in costs, an £80 victim surcharge and £100 in compensation to Mr Pople.