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Halling man did not drive van into young cyclist, court rules

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A father accused of deliberately driving at children on bikes has been cleared of dangerous driving and attempted grievous bodily harm.

A nine-year-old young boy fell from his bicycle and injured his knee during the incident in Halling.

Witnesses claimed they saw Stuart Tweedale, 52, mount the kerb in his van at speed in Ferry Road and clip the back of one of the bikes.

The alleged incident happened in Ferry Road, Halling. Picture: Google.
The alleged incident happened in Ferry Road, Halling. Picture: Google.

But Mr Tweedale, of Scholey Close, Halling, denied the charges, saying he did not mount the kerb or make contact with the bike.

Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan said a member of staff at the nearby Five Bells pub saw the boys pedalling quickly trying to get away as the Ford Connect van approached.

She said the van sped off after clipping the rear of the cycle. He returned and she shouted at him: “Look at the state of this boy’s knees.”

He allegedly replied: “You should see the state of my son.”

Another witness said Mr Tweedale told the injured boy: “That’s what you get for picking on my son.”

Mr Morgan said Tweedale had driven through barriers of a no-entry road and mounted the kerb.

When arrested he said his son had been bullied and he wanted to talk to the boys about it.

The boy said in a recorded interview shown to the jury at Maidstone Crown Court that he had been out cycling with his friends on August 13 last year.

Maidstone Crown Court. Picture John Wardley
Maidstone Crown Court. Picture John Wardley

A boy came along who they did not like, he said, so they told him to go away.

About 15 minutes later they were cycling down the hill when they saw Mr Tweedale driving his Shirley Oaks decorating van.

“We were on the path,” he said. “I saw the van go on the path. I was like ‘Whoa, what’s he doing?’ We heard his wheel spinning.

“I was like ‘Is he crazy?’ You are not meant to go after children at the age of nine. I thought I was going to get run over.

“I cycled as fast as I could go. He bumped into my bike wheel and I fell off. I noticed my chain snapped. He pointed to me and said: ‘You are bullying my son.’

“I wasn’t. There was loads of blood. My knee was bleeding. People from the pub came to see if I was alright.

“He came back and shouted at people from the pub, and then he went.”

The jury acquitted Mr Tweedale of both charges.

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