A road rage incident got out of control when a man climbed into the cab of a truck, punched the driver, snatched his phone, and threatened that he would have stabbed him in the throat if he had a knife.
Detective Garda Tom Ryan said that at the height of the road rage, arising out of an exchange on the road earlier, Michael Hayes climbed into a lorry driver’s cab and attacked him while he was in traffic at MacCurtain St, Fermoy, Co Cork, on June 18.
At Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Judge David Riordan imposed a two-year sentence with the last 15 months suspended on Hayes, aged 28, of Cappa White, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
Because it arose out of a road rage incident, the judge also banned Hayes from driving for three years.
Hayes pleaded guilty to a robbery charge but his defence barrister, Patrick O’Riordan, said that robbery was not the motivation behind the crime whereas road rage was what lay in the background.
Hayes later claimed the lorry driver honked his horn at him on the road between Mitchelstown and Fermoy.
Det Garda Ryan said Hayes drove his small silver car out in front of the injured party, causing him to take avoidance action.
A woman travelling with Hayes later stuck out her tongue at the lorry driver on the road.
A short time later, the lorry driver was stuck in traffic in Fermoy. “His passenger door was opened. The man driving the small silver car roared at him, ‘You fucking bastard, you fucking c***. If I had a knife I’d stab you in the throat. Who do you think you are, blowing your horn at me.’ He punched him in the face,” said Det Garda Ryan.
The lorry driver had his phone snatched by Hayes.
Hayes gave back the phone when gardaí questioned him. He also came up with €1,500 as a gesture of compensation for the injured party.
Patrick O’Riordan, defending, said the accused had been out of trouble since 2010.
“This was a road rage incident that went wrong. He put up his hands almost immediately. He agreed to undertake anger management,” said Mr O’Riordan.
A background medical report stated that the 28-year-old walked, cycled, and skipped to relieve tension and was a complex person trying hard to get on with a normal life.
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