BMW road rage attacker facing jail
PUBLISHED: 16:31 21 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:31 21 July 2014
PA Archive/Press Association Images
A motorist who beat up a cyclist for striking the wing mirror on his luxury BMW X5 is facing a possible jail sentence.
Daniel Watkiss, 30, got into a row with cyclist James Falle as he drove past him in Stoke Newington.
Mr Falle was riding in the middle of the road for safety reasons, as traffic islands along Green Lanes made it dangerous for cars to pass cyclists at certain points.
He told Snaresbrook Crown Court he heard Watkiss’ BMW coming up behind, revving and accelerating hard to get round him on July 28 last year.
He instinctively raised his hand up and struck the car’s wing mirror as it passed, before losing control and falling off his bike.
Watkiss, of Fawcett Estate, Clapton Common, demanded £50 to pay for the alleged damage.
When he refused Mr Falle was grabbed, pulled to the floor and dragged by Watkiss, the son of jazz singer Cleveland Watkiss.
Mr Falle said: “He took a big swing at me with his right fist.
“The next thing I knew he had grabbed my helmet and pulled me across my bike and into the road.
“The strap on my helmet was strangling me. I couldn’t breathe at this stage.
“I was trying to undo the helmet with one hand but that was impossible while I was still being dragged.”
Watkiss admitted shouting at Mr Falle, but denied striking him and claimed the only contact came when he was pushed by the cyclist.
He said his hand got caught in the helmet strap and the cyclist may have been dragged along as he tried to free himself.
Watkiss was convicted of dangerous driving and assault by beating but cleared of affray, and will be sentenced on August 7.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.