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Home   Medway   News   Article

Teacher Shane Coventry jailed after attacking motorcyclist Jonathan Clark in road rage assault with iron bar in Rainham

21 February 2014
by Keith Hunt
A former schoolteacher has been jailed after an “explosion of temper” in which he attacked a motorcyclist with a metal bar.
 
Shane Coventry resorted to road rage while off work at Rainham School for Girls suffering from depression and stress.
 
The 35-year-old father became angry, claiming he was dazzled in his car by Jonathan Clark’s motorbike headlight.
 
Rainham School for Girls in Derwent Way

Rainham School for Girls in Derwent Way

 
He tailed the shocked victim in Maidstone Road, Rainham, on November 22 2012 and bumped him several times before striking his arm and leg with a jack handle.
 
Coventry, of Taswell Road, Rainham, denied dangerous driving, assault and having an offensive weapon but was convicted by a jury in December.
 
Jailing him for six months, a judge described the offences as “extraordinary behaviour”.
 
He added: “There is absolutely no excuse and you should be thoroughly ashamed.”
 
Coventry was banned from driving for two years and will have to take an extended test before his licence is returned.
 
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

 
Robert Conway, defending, described it as “an extremely unpleasant and shocking offence, causing alarm and distress”, but submitted a suspended sentence could be imposed.
 
“His actions seem totally out of keeping with the real person he is,” he told Maidstone Crown Court.
 
“He struggled to accept responsibility, which is very regretful.
 
“The weapon was carried for a legitimate purpose. It was an explosion of temper by someone who was not well at the time.”
 
Coventry had worked hard to become a head of department at his school and was heavily involved in charity work.
 
Scales of justice

The scales of justice

 
“He had a huge weight on his shoulders at work,” said Mr Conway. “He was responsible for turning around the department’s problems. He came under scrutiny with a new head teacher.
 
“He had to let staff members go. He was responsible for telling people they had to lose their jobs. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with depression.”
 
“You acted in a wholly unnecessary and disproportionate fashion. You abused and assaulted your unfortunate victim" - Judge David Griffith-Jones
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC told Coventry: “You acted in a wholly unnecessary and disproportionate fashion. You abused and assaulted your unfortunate victim.
 
“The offence of road rage is becoming increasingly prevalent.
 
"The Court of Appeal has made it clear that where a driver gets out of a vehicle and strikes another road user, a prison sentence is demanded for the offender, even if of good character.”


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