THE reason a motorist mounted a pavement and knocked a cyclist off his bike with his car remains a mystery, a court heard.

Jason Brunskill was at the wheel of a Subaru Forester travelling on Princes Street, Bishop Auckland, at the time of the incident, at about 7pm on August 20, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told the male cyclist recalls hearing an engine revving behind him and looked over his shoulder to see a driver with his head out of the window of the car, which also contained a passenger.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said the cyclist did not recognise the driver and turned back, but the next thing he can recall was waking up in Darlington Memorial Hospital the following day.

He suffered a severe laceration to the right side of the face, a fractured cheek, plus injuries to to his right shoulder and leg, and remains scarred above the eye.

Mr Pettengell said the defendant returned to the scene about 50 seconds later, by which time other members of the public were tending to the injured cyclist.

He did not get out of the car and drove off, but one witness recalled hearing someone say: “Sorry, wrong person.”

Mr Pettengell said the defendant does not accept it was him who made that remark.

Brunskill was traced as cctv picked up his registration.

He accepted he was driving, going to a shop, but had to turn back on realising he was without his bank card.

Mr Pettengell added: “The prosecution say that he drove into someone deliberately, using the car as a weapon.”

The 25-year-old defendant, of Saxon Green, Escomb, Bishop Auckland, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Presenting character references to the court, on his client’s behalf, Shaun Dryden, for Brunskill, said he has no previous convictions.

“On the face of it, he’s a hard-working family man, who has always in employment, with no criminal history,

“For someone like this to find themselves in this type of incident is really weird.”

He added: “This 15 seconds of madness on his part, with all of the consequences of that.”

Judge James Adkin said to Mr Dryden: “He must have some reason in the background for him to hurt this individual, unless it was mistaken identity.”

Mr Dryden added: “Why he did it remains a mystery.”

Judge Adkin told Brunskill: “This is an odd case as to your motivation for attacking a complete stranger, an entirely innocent other road user.”

Imposing a 13-month prison sentence, Judge Adkin said: “What we are dealing with here is what appears to be some form of opaque or mistaken identity and the sentence has to be immediate.”

Brunskill was also banned from driving for two years.

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