A PENSIONER was pushed and punched in the face during a “road rage” episode in County Durham yesterday (Monday, April 29).

The 72-year-old man was left shaken and bruised with a bloody nose following the unprovoked attack which happened after his car clipped wing mirrors with another vehicle near Sedgefield.

The victim, who lives locally, had been overtaking a line of parked cars on the road between Bradbury and the A689 at around 1.55pm when the accident took place near Bradbury Services.

PC Bram Booth, of Newton Aycliffe Police, said: “The victim had been driving through a narrow space when another vehicle, similar to a Suzuki Swift, approached from the other direction.

“By this time he had committed to the manoeuvre and it was too late for him to get out of the way.”

Both drivers stopped and got out of their cars but the situation quickly turned nasty.

“The victim had pulled over and was inspecting the damage when the offender approached,” said PC Booth.

“He was already shouting and cursing at this point. The victim went to speak to him and was pushed and punched in the face.

“He was badly shaken by it all. He is not very well and it was all too much for him.”

The attacker is described as a stocky white male in his mid to late forties.

He had dark hair, glasses and was about 5ft11.

A police investigation is now underway and officers are appealing to witnesses to come forward.

“The victim managed to catch some of the registration plate but unfortunately this was not enough for us to identify the vehicle,” he said.

“We welcome any information the public can give us. We would particularly like to speak to a man and woman in black car who we believe witnessed some - or all - of the incident but drove off before the police arrived.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 101.