Mon, 18 Jun 2018
A DRIVER terrorised a woman with a knuckleduster during a road rage incident in Newbury.
The 34-year-old former armed forces man also used a metal dog lead to threaten another motorist on the A339.
In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday was Douglas Rogers of Broad Street, East Ilsley.
Ngaa Zivuku, prosecuting, said: “This case involves two separate road rage incidents.”
In the first, the court heard, Mr Rogers ‘cut up’ a Volkswagen Golf driven by Kevin Pedder on the A339 in Newbury.
Ms Zivuku said that, later, when Mr Peddar stopped at traffic lights, Mr Rogers, driving his girlfriend’s Mini, got out and began to threaten 50-year-old Mr Pedder, shouting: “I’ll punch your lights out – I’ll kick your head in.”
She added: “While doing this, the defendant wrapped a metal dog lead round both his clenched fists as if to punch Mr Pedder with it.”
The other incident happened in the car park to the rear of The Hatchet Inn, in Newbury Market Place.
Ms Zivuku said: “Mr Rogers was parking his car in the pub car park when he got involved in an altercation with another motorist, 41-year-old Emma Nicholls.
She said: “He became very aggressive. Threats were made. He was swearing and shouting abuse at her.
“Witnesses saw a dog lead strap wrapped around one hand and a red and blue knuckle duster on the other fist.”
Police were called to the scene, the court heard, and found both weapons in Mr Rogers’ car.
In interview, said Ms Zivuku, he denied all wrongdoing, claiming that he was the victim and had been threatened by other customers at The Hatchet Inn.
She added: “He denied all knowledge of the ‘knuckleduster’, but the officer said he was sweating.
“Told that his fingerprints were on it, he said: ‘**** it – I can’t talk my way out of this one.
“The officer said he seemed relieved when he admitted the offences.”
Mr Rogers admitted possessing an offensive weapon in the form of the metal and fabric dog strap and possessing an offensive weapon in the form of a knuckleduster. He also admitted using threatening behaviour towards Mr Pedder on May 16 and using threatening behaviour to Ms Nicholls on May 24.
Mr Rogers has previous convictions for burglary and being drunk and disorderly, the court was told.
Claire Wiggett, defending, said: “Mr Rogers is a former forces man who has been diagnosed with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder].
“He had gone from one set of medication to another and this was certainly a contributing factor in the way he behaved.”
She urged district judge Sophie Toms to ask for pre-sentence reports before deciding whether to send the case up to the crown court for resolution.
But district judge Toms said: “As you’re probably aware, looking at the news, there’s a lot of concern over weapons and the courts have been given recent guidance.
“Serious fear, alarm and distress was caused to the victims.
“A knuckleduster is a highly- dangerous weapon.
“My sentencing powers are insufficient.”
She ordered pre-sentence reports to be prepared on Mr Rogers, but committed him to be sentenced by a judge at Reading Crown Court. Mr Rogers was meanwhile released on bail.