A man who knocked out a car driver during a road-rage row has been told he was lucky not to be facing a more serious charge.

Shane Bell was shouted out by the victim when he tried to squeeze his trials bike past his Renault Clio while he was parked at traffic lights.

The 38-year-old the proceeded to follow the car driver and attacked him when he pulled up outside a shop, delivering several heavy blows to the man before racing off on his bike.

Cainan Lonsdale, prosecuting, said the man suffered bruising to his face and a cut to his lip as a result of the violent attack which was caught on CCTV.

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Teesside Crown Court heard how the defendant returned to the scene and confessed to police officers that he was responsible for delivering the knockout blows.

The judge watched footage of the violence showing the defending throwing several punches before the victim was knocked to the ground unconscious.

Mr Lonsdale said the confrontation started on Victoria Road, Darlington, before descending into violence outside the Sainsbury's on Clifton Road.

He added: “A witness heard the defendant say – ‘I will knock you out’ before punching the victim to the head.

“When the police arrived, the defendant returned and spoke to the officers and told them – ‘it was me, I did it’.”

The court heard how the victim was taken to hospital for a CT scan which revealed there was no serious damage but he could have suffered a concussion from the knock-out blow.

Knock-out blow

Bell, of Haughton Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the confrontation on May 6 this year.

Michael Cahill, mitigating, urged the judge to follow the recommendations in his client’s pre-sentence report.

He added: “He knew it was serious as he came back and spoke to the police. He was completely disgusted with his behaviour.

“He has saved up £500 in compensation for the victim without being told to do so.”

The Northern Echo: Sainsbury's on Clifton Road, DarlingtonSainsbury's on Clifton Road, Darlington (Image: Google)

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Bell he was fortunate not to have caused more serious injury and could easily have been facing a manslaughter charge as he sentenced him to four months in prison suspended for 12-months.

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He said: “The blow you delivered was of some significant force – you knocked him off his feet and out unconscious.

“The photographs of his injuries are quite unpleasant.

“In my view, you should consider yourself lucky, that’s the sort of blow that could very easily have resulted in a manslaughter charge.”

Bell was ordered to attend 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 in court costs on top of the £500 in compensation.