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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Headbutt biker cleared of Cumbrian layby assault

A biker who headbutted another man in a layby has been cleared of assault.

Related: Biker ‘panicked’ in layby confrontation with car driver

Paul Downton, 49, of Ashley Way, Egremont, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court was found not guilty of the charge by a jury at Carlisle Crown Court.

The charge sprang from an incident off the A66, near Embleton, on Sunday, May 12 last year.

Downton had been travelling on the road, near Bassenthwaite, on his way back from a charity ride to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, with a group of other bikers, who were in a queue of traffic behind a towing truck.

Downton was at the front of this line, which also included some cars.

A Ford Fusion overtook this queue pulling out in front of Downton, who gestured to the driver, James Crone, to pull over, which he did at the layby near Embleton. The two men left their vehicles and walked towards each other. It was then that the Downton headbutted Mr Crone.

Earlier in the trial Downton had told the court that he did not deny that the headbutt had happened but that he had acted because he felt threatened.

“I walked towards him and stopped and he kept coming towards me.”

“At the time, I panicked.”

He was found not guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm.

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