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Truck driver crashed into car and kicked driver in face

  • 06 November 2012
  • By Roger Brown

Beverley Bell, traffic commissioner (TC) for the North West, has given a truck driver who kicked a car driver in the face an extended ban from professional driving and told him to “grow up”.

Tameside Magistrates’ Court heard in February how Michael Constantine, 27, from Glossop, had been driving for his father’s company in December 2011 when he intentionally drove into the front driver’s side of a BMW carrying two adult passengers and a 10 month old baby, knocking off the wing mirror and scratching the side of the vehicle.

Following the incident the car driver went over to the truck to confront Constantine and opened the door of the cab.

It was at this point that Constantine kicked him, an act the Judge described as “appalling”.

For the assault he sentenced Constantine to four months in prison suspended for a year and ordered him to do 180 hours of unpaid work for 12 months.

For failing to stop, Constantine received one month in prison to run concurrently, also suspended for 12 months.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and his licence was endorsed. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the victims and £300 court costs.

Newspaper reports of the incident were submitted to the TC.

She called Constantine to a conduct hearing in June, after receiving notification of the prosecution at Tameside Magistrates’ Court, but she adjourned that hearing to make further enquiries with the Crown Prosecution Service.

At a reconvened inquiry last month (October), after receiving documents from the CPS, the TC heard evidence from Constantine about the incident and his history as a truck driver.

The TC noted that Constantine had a number of offences recorded against him in the last 10 years, including exceeding the speed limit in a lorry in 2009.

Summing up, Bell said that Constantine’s conduct had fallen below the standard expected, and ordered that his vocational driving licence entitlement cannot be restored until 15 October 2013 at the earliest.

She added: “What concerns me is your approach to a member of the public who opened your cab door. Whether or not that individual should have opened the door is another matter. What matters is the way you responded to him.

“It is my job to regulate the commercial vehicle industry and I cannot possibly tolerate drivers who kick members of the public in the face when they engage with them.

“What you did was disgraceful and I don’t expect commercial drivers – I don’t expect any driver – to do it.

“I would have made a direction for 24 months but I have balanced my decision against your relative immaturity. It’s about time you grew up and started behaving like a proper commercial goods vehicle driver.”

Constantine will be required to reapply for his professional driving licence if he wishes to work again as a lorry driver.


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