If there’s a moral to be taken from the legal news over the last couple of weeks, it’s not to mess with lawyers on bikes. Last week Legal Cheek reported the case of the cycling law student who responded to a policeman’s attempt to ticket him with the immortal line: “I won’t be accepting any paperwork today.”
And today news reaches us of a cycling barrister who helped get a motorist convicted for using threatening words or behaviour. Just like the cycling law student, Martin Porter QC filmed the incident, which took place on his 30 mile(!) daily commute from Berkshire to London. Here’s the video (complete with Porter's instructional intro - the action starts at 00:24):
However, after Porter - a tenant specialising in personal injury at common law set 2 Temple Gardens - handed the video to the police, he was dismayed to find that the matter wasn't pursued further, even after he made a direct complaint to the Crown Prosecution Service. It was only when the QC took the incident up with the Director of Public Prosecutions that an investigation began, culminating last week with his tormentor being fined £250 with £300 costs at West London magistrates' court.
Upon hearing the result, Porter immediately took to his blog, The Cycling Lawyer, to issue a victory posting:
"It is sadly too much to hope that all mindless aggression and violence directed at cyclists will instantly cease but at least this conviction may help to discourage similar incidences of ‘roadrage’ against vulnerable road users. I hope it may also serve to encourage police officers to treat complaints of this type of crime seriously."
In a confirmation of the suspicion that the cycle mafia do indeed rule London these days, Porter added: "I am grateful to prosecuting counsel (a cyclist it transpires!) who dealt with the case today both efficiently and courteously."