Student ‘punched pensioner after road rage incident near A38’

A road rage driver punched a pensioner and left him with blood pouring from his head after an incident at a roundabout near the A38, a jury has been told.

University of Plymouth student Courtney Hallett, aged 27, followed the 75-year-old and attacked him in Ivybridge, a court heard.

He accused the stranger of pulling out on him at the roundabout, a trial was told.

Nick Lewin, opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service at Plymouth Crown Court, said: “The Crown’s position is very clear. Mr Hallett grossly over-reacted to a little bit of driving by (complainant’s name) and followed him for some considerable distance, hell-bent, the prosecution say, on violence.

“When he got out of his car, he punched him twice to the head and quickly drove off.”

The court was shown dashcam from the pensioner’s car which showed the initial incident near the roundabout at the A38 eastbound sliproad.

The alleged attack was not caught on camera but Hallett is heard saying: “Pull out on me, you f***ing knobhead.”

Hallett, of Bittaford near Ivybridge, has denied assaulting the man causing actual bodily harm on July 17, 2019

He claims he acted in self-defence.

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The dashcam in the pensioner’s Hyundai 130 showed the car approach the roundabout having just come from the westbound A38 and stop.

The pensioner is heard to say ‘f*** off, go, go, go!’.”

Hallett’s Qashqai then drives across the front of the car and he stops, with him gesturing and spitting out of the window at the other vehicle.

Barry White, for Hallett, asked the complainant: “Did you get it wrong and just drive out?”

The pensioner replied: “No I didn’t, I stopped.”

The footage showed the two cars going into Ivybridge together, with Hallett ahead.

But the defendant then circles around a roundabout and comes up behind the Hyundai to follow it.

The pensioner, living in Yeovil at the time, said that he was due to visit his daughter-in-law but decided not to go there with the other driver following him.

He added that he turned into Weatherdon Drive, not realising it was a cul-de-sac.

The pensioner said he did a U-turn but had to stop because the Qashqai was blocking his path.

He added that he was getting out of the car and had just put his feet on the ground when he felt “a smack on the head”.

The witness said he could not recall how many times he was struck.

The pensioner added that he could not remember the stranger saying anything, despite the dashcam recording his ‘knobhead’ comment.

He said: “Next thing I recall was thinking it was raining, but I was bleeding. I was on my knees and I staggered to the car.”

The pensioner denied lunging towards the other driver before he was struck.

Hallett, a final year economics student at the university, said he had been on his way home that day from playing golf.

He said that he was forced to “slam on the brakes” when the Hyundai came out of the junction.

Hallett admitted that he spat at the other vehicle.

Asked by his barrister what he thought of his reaction, he said: “It makes me cringe. It is disgusting.”

Hallett admitted that he circled around to follow the other driver but did not realise he was a pensioner.

He said that he just wanted to talk to him if he stopped and did not have violence in mind.

Hallett added that he did not block the Hyundai in when they both entered Weatherdon Drive.

The defendant said that he got out of the car.

Hallett said: “He took a step forward and that is when he has lunged at me with his left hand which has caught me.”

Mr White asked him for his reaction after the incident.

Hallett said: “I am pretty gutted, the last two years nearly has been hell for me.”

The trial continues.

Plymouth Live