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02/09/2019 - Norwich

road rage driver with children in back seat banned after ‘racing’ Audi

Norwich Crown Court heard how the drivers of an Audi and Dodge were engaged in a “urination contest” near the Hardwick Roundabout at King’s Lynn on September 7 last year.

Mark Nally and Neil Kirk began “brake checking” and overtaking each other on the A10 after Nally, driving the Audi, cut Kirk off on the roundabout.

Kirk, 48, was convicted of dangerous driving on Thursday after a trial, while Nally, 28, pleaded guilty at magistrates court on May 13.

Kirk, a professional driver with more than 1.5m miles under his belt, had four of his six children in the car at the time.

The incident was captured on the dashcam of a driver following the pair, and passed to police.

Nally is seen “deliberately” cutting Kirk off as the lanes merge coming off the roundabout, before Kirk “slams on the brakes”.

The pair then attempt to outmanoeuvre each other along the A10, driving into oncoming traffic.

Danielle O’Donovan, prosecuting Kirk at Norwich Crown Court, said the incident was “machismo”.

“It is two men muscling each other out,” she said. “The sad thing is these are middle-aged men, not 18-year-old boys, behaving like this on the roads.”

She said Kirk admitted he had a moment of road rage.

“He does say I was an idiot, I was silly, I had road rage,” she said. “He also says he was trying to protect his children. If that was really the driving factor he could have just pulled over.

“It is not driving to a safe standard or defensively. It is a urination contest.”

Philip Farr, for Kirk, said he had been driving perfectly normally before the Audi “quite deliberately and aggressively cut him up”.

“It is permissible in those circumstances to be angry,” he said.”The Audi drives right up his rear end. His kids are in the back and they think he has been clipped.

“Next the Audi decides to simply speed off around him into the oncoming traffic, then brake-checking him five times.

“What do you do in those circumstances? Probably the most sensible option is to drop back altogether. The other option is to overtake that car.

“That is what the defendant chose to do. He was not to know that the Audi was going to drive, frankly, like a lunatic.

“This wasn’t perhaps his best bit of driving. He has his children in the back of the car and he is plainly guilty of a moment of hot-headedness.”

Mr Farr added Kirk had been “living in the car which was the subject of these proceedings for the last eight months”.

Judge Andrew Shaw told Kirk: “There is no doubt in my mind you momentarily reacted badly to the provocation of Mr Nally’s aggressive driving.”

He said he believed this was a “momentary lapse”.

“You had your children in your car. They must have been frightened and intimidated.”

Kirk, of Southend Road, Hunstanton, was given a conditional discharge and banned from driving for a year.

Nally, of Sluice Road, Wiggenhall St Mary, was given a 12 month community order, banned for a year and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

After sentencing, PC Ben Hawkins, based at Swaffham, thanked the member of the public who sent in the dashcam footage.

“We will use it and take action if deemed necessary,” he said.

“This shows the importance of merge in turn lanes. All of this has happened, and people’s lives put at risk, because of people not respecting the rules of the road and not allowing a merge in turn.”