TV producer found guilty of deliberately crashing car into bike
A television producer has been cleared of deliberately crashing a car into the back of his bicycle in a case described as “unique and bizarre” by his famous lawyer.
aul Crompton, 54, has been charged with suddenly braking in front of a Ford Focus Estate during an alleged road rage incident on Ladywell Road in Lewisham, south-east London on October 24, 2020.
Prosecutors claimed the cyclist “launched abuse” against driver Derek Pipe, 74, and deliberately blocked his way after their vehicles approached the narrow residential road.
But magistrates at Bexley Magistrates’ Court acquitted him of a charge of driving “without due diligence and care” after a summary trial Thursday.
Mr Crompton, who has produced award-winning shows including Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau, said he tried to warn the driver of his presence but Mr Pipe did not notice him on the road.
His lawyer, Nick Freeman, who has successfully defended David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson against alleged traffic violations, said the cyclist will now initiate civil proceedings.
Testifying, Mr. Pipe claimed that Mr. Crompton cut his outside mirror as he “ran” up the hill, passing in front of him and shouting curses in front of his vehicle.
“The cyclist came outside of me, then put his bike in front of my car towards the windshield and started cursing, yelling, from a very intimidating and aggressive manner,” he said. he declared.
The motorist, who has no points on his license and has been driving for decades, said he then resumed riding less than five miles an hour behind the cyclist before Mr Crompton stepped down. stop twice.
“I was walking right behind him safely and then all of a sudden he stopped again a second time,” he told the court.
“The distance we both rode was so short that it was impossible for me to brake in time.”
But the cyclist said it was the driver who put him in danger by forcing him into a tight spot between the Ford Focus and a row of parked cars.
He told the court that he knocked on Mr Pipe’s window once to alert the driver that he might be “sandwiched”, but the driver did not appear to know.
The collision left Mr. Crompton with soft tissue damage and left a “terrible V” in the rear wheel of his bike, the court said.
âI wanted to warn him that he had made a dangerous maneuver and I was hoping that a warning would mean he would think about it next time,â he said.
A total waste of time, trouble and money for people. It took three hours. It probably costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds.Nick freeman
“I knocked on her window and shouted ‘Didn’t you see me?’ very strong.”
The married father-of-two said he then drove past the car without stopping before being “catapulted” forward through the handlebars when the motorist hit his rear wheel.
Mr Crompton, of Lewisham, called the allegations against him “crazy”, adding: “He (Mr Pipe) didn’t know I was there.”
He added that he only got angry after the collision, at which point Mr. Pipe also appeared to be “angry”, according to the cyclist.
Prosecutor Norleen Ibe said the driver gave “credible and consistent” evidence, but Freeman said the account was “confusing”.
The lawsuit has not proven the case so we are sure beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore find Mr. Crompton not guilty.Christina Pride bench chair
Defense attorney added that even if Mr Crompton had stopped suddenly, the driver would have broken traffic laws by not ensuring a “sufficient distance” between him and the bicycle in front of him.
He said the allegation that the cyclist intended to cause the crash was “ludicrous” leading to “this rather unique and bizarre situation in which Mr Crompton finds himself accused of careless and careless driving. Warning”.
Mr Crompton was due to travel to Italy the next day to supervise a Â£ 35,000 shoot for a documentary and had no reason to take a “kamikaze course” which would have put himself and the driver at risk, he said. he declares.
Bench chair Christina Pride said: “We have heard two different accounts of the incident.”
âThe prosecution hasn’t proven the case, so we’re sure beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore find Mr. Crompton not guilty, âshe added.
Speaking in court after being cleared, Mr Crompton told the PA News Agency he was “totally, totally relieved”.
âNo matter how ridiculous it sounds, you still wonder which way they’re going to go because it’s one person’s word against another.
Mr Freeman, who was once nicknamed ‘Mr Loophole’, said: ‘The whole thing has been bizarre.
âA total waste of time, trouble and money for people. It took three hours. It probably costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds.
He added: “Mr. Crompton will now bring civil proceedings against Mr. Pipe.”
The Crown Prosecution Service has been contacted for comment.