A CAR driver who deliberately hit a cyclist and drove away after knocking him off his bike has been given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

David Glen Atkin, 29, undertook a group of cyclists in Micklegate then cut them up so badly they had to brake sharply to prevent colliding with him or each other.

He then stopped on the cycles-only box at the junction of Micklegate and Rougier Street, said Helen Wheatley, prosecuting.

One of the cyclists described his driving before the crash as “absolutely horrific”.

A second cyclist, William Mak, remonstrated with Atkin through the open passenger window of his Nissan Micra when all the road users had to stop at a red light at the junction of Micklegate and North Street, said Mrs Wheatley.

When the lights changed and Mr Mak started to cycle forward, Atkin steered left to hit him and drove off.

Atkin’s barrister, Jeremy Durston, said: “He quite candidly accepts he lost his temper and in that momentary flash of temper he drove in the way he did. He is remorseful for what he has done.” He had acted out of character.

Recorder Tahir Khan QC told Atkin: “If you commit offences such as this using your vehicle effectively as a weapon and cause someone to be knocked off their bicycle, it has got to be prison.”

He only suspended the 12-month sentence for two years because Atkin, of Merton Close, Windsor Garth, Acomb, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, and on condition that he does 12 months’ supervision, 200 hours’ unpaid work and ten sessions of activities aimed at stopping him reoffending. He was also banned from driving for a year and ordered to retake his driving test and pay £300 compensation to Mr Mak.

The court heard Atkin and Mr Mak had a “heated argument” during which both men were aggressive and Mr Mak had his arm inside Atkin’s car.

As he withdrew it, his elbow accidentally made contact with a ten-year-old girl sitting in the front passenger seat.

Mr Mak suffered minor injuries and was unable to use his hands properly for several days, said Mrs Wheatley. His bike was damaged beyond repair.

Atkin had a previous conviction for careless driving and failure to stop after an accident which, according to Mr Durston, related to a collision at a roundabout which Atkin believed had been so minor the other driver had not noticed it.