A YORK IT consultant drove into the back on an Audi on a motorway - before smashing up the car with a metal tool as the driver sat inside, a court heard.

The "road rage" incident began on the M1 when Matthew James Wright, 39, tried to "push" the Audi out of his way, York magistrates were told.

When the Audi driver, on police advice, pulled into a service station, Wright got a metal tool, went over to the vehicle and smashed its driver’s window and windscreen, said Katy Varlow, prosecuting.

The other driver was inside the car at the time, talking to police by phone for the second time in an hour about Wright’s road rage actions.

The damage cost £1,044 to repair.

Ms Varlow said the Audi driver had first rung police to report a series of bad driving incidents by Wright that begun with the 39-year-old cutting him up.

Wright had then tailgated him so closely he feared he would be hit if he braked.

“All of a sudden the defendant actually drove into the back of him, in a gentle way, as if he was trying to push him out of the way,” said Ms Varlow. “The defendant changed lanes to overtake him.”

In a personal statement, the victim said he now panicked if someone drove close to him, was struggling to sleep and had been prescribed medicine by his doctor to assist him.

Wright’s solicitor Patricia Walker said he had been in a bad mood. He had been driving home to York after deciding to resign from his high-pressure London job.

“Ultimately he lost his sense of everything that was reasonable including his behaviour,” she said. “He was devastated by his behaviour on that day.”

Wright rang police to confess when he got home.

Wright, of Boroughbridge Road, York, pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Magistrates said it was “clearly a road rage offence” and banned him from driving for four weeks.

“How will I get my car home?” he asked. The magistrates told him he couldn’t drive it and would have to make alternative arrangements.

They also gave him a 12-month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work and ordered him to pay £1,044 compensation to the Audi driver, £85 prosecution costs and a £85 statutory surcharge.

Ms Varlow said Wright had driven off after the incident when he pushed the Audi, but 45 minutes later the Audi driver had seen him again and called police.

Officers told him to pull into a service station which he had done.

The incident happened on the M1 in Buckinghamshire on October 16.