A CYCLIST who claims a man threatened ‘to knock his teeth out’ after blaming him for a flock of sheep running away is urging people who know him to contact the police.

Neil Gander went for a quiet Sunday morning countryside ride when he came across loose sheep in Muggleswick, near Consett, being followed by a man on a quad bike.

Video captured on his handlebar camera shows he let them pass before continuing.

But then the 55-year-old bike mechanic, from Lanchester, become involved in a foul-mouthed verbal altercation with another man near a quad bike by the side of road.

The man is recorded as saying: “It’s you p***ks’ [cyclists] fault that them f***ers [the sheep] aren’t in there.”

The man gestures to an enclosure next to the farm buildings then he added: “Now f*** off, before I knock your teeth out.”

Mr Gander said he told the man he was being filmed only for him to respond by ripping the camera from the bike and smashing it on the ground.

The Northern Echo: The man approaches Mr GanderThe man approaches Mr Gander

Mr Gander, who was recovering from a broken jaw following a cycling accident weeks earlier, said he had nothing to do with the sheep running away.

He said: “I had pulled over onto the verge as soon as I saw there were sheep and dogs on the road ahead.

“They all came past, followed by a man on a quad bike.

“Once I thought the road was clear I set off again, but as I crested the hill I saw two men, one with a quad bike who was standing in the road ahead, and another on the fellside up to my left, who shouted ‘f***ing bike’ as though this explained everything.”

In retaliation, Mr Gander told the man to ‘shut his f***ing gob’ before he was confronted by the man he alleges broke his camera.

Mr Gander said: “I was really aggrieved as I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I told him I wasn’t going to take this from him and warned him I had all this on video, at which point he tore the camera off its handlebar mount and smashed it in the road.”

The camera, a Techalogic DC-1, was wrecked but enough of the video file survived to show to the police.

The Northern Echo: Neil GanderNeil Gander

Mr Gander said: “The officer who came to see me agreed the man’s actions were completely unacceptable.

“When she went to the farm, the owner denied knowing the suspect.

“After this she told me that without a named suspect she would have to close the investigation. So I’ve had to go public to try to find the man myself.”

The incident happened on July 19 near to a farm in Muggleswick.

A spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said: “At this stage, all lines of enquiry have been exhausted and the case has been closed, however we would welcome any new information.”

To help call 101, quoting incident reference 308 of July 19.