'Pathetic': Driver runs down cyclist, goes back for fight
A CYCLIST was hurt when he was struck head-on by a car driven deliberately at him. The driver then drove home, parked his car and walked back to the injured cyclist to start a fight.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard how Ryan Thomas Nizzo-Smith, 26, claimed he was taunted by a cyclist while driving on January 24 and drove to the end of a road, did a u-turn and knocked the cyclist from his bike onto the pathway.
Police prosecutor Nichale Bool said the cyclist was left on the path while Nizzo-Smith drove home.
"He swerved into his path to block him... the cyclist couldn't stop in time and caused it to collide with the car," she said.
Ms Bool said Nizzo-Smith returned to the scene on foot and witnesses claimed he "got in a fight" with the victim.
The court heard the 21-year-old victim was singing along to music in his headphones when he was hit, and told hospital staff Nizzo-Smith was travelling at 80km/h towards him "head-on".
Ms Bool said the victim suffered "significant injuries", including a fractured ankle which left him unable to work for some weeks.
Nizzo-Smith was supported in court today by his father when he pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle, and driving an unregistered and uninsured car.
Defence lawyer Patrick Meehan said Nizzo-Smith was reminded of his "serious" actions every day and submitted an apology to the court he wrote to the victim on Wednesday.
Mr Meehan said the Buddina man should avoid jail as he was the main income earner for his ill father.
"It was out of character and he acknowledges the seriousness... he co-operated with police and expressed genuine remorse," he said.
Nizzo-Smith was made an example of by magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist who said his "pathetic" behaviour was a reflection of the "highest intolerance" to cyclists.
"This is all too common these days... it's a very serious example of road rage," he said.
"Your reasons for doing this are simply that you thought they said something to you... that's pathetic."
Mr Stjernqvist noted Nizzo-Smith's lack of remorse when he walked back to the victim with no intention of assistance.
"The community denounces this type of behaviour," he said.
Mr Stjernqvist sentenced Nizzo-Smith to a higher penalty than prosecution requested saying it was too "serious" to ignore.
Nizzo-Smith was sentenced to two years jail with a parole eligibility date of today, ordered to pay $2450 is medical bills, fined $800 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.