THREATENING another driver with a baseball bat in a road rage incident has landed a Spalding man a suspended prison sentence.
Deano Smith (24) has been warned the court won’t think twice about putting him behind bars if he appears before a judge again.
Prosecutor Rebecca Ritson told Spalding magistrates on Thursday that Christopher Swan had overtaken Smith’s white van while he was driving on the A52 towards Grantham at about 11am.
She said Smith appeared to wave as he went past. Smith and his passenger continued to gesture, leading Mr Swan to believe he had a problem with his vehicle.
When he pulled up on the grass verge, he was confronted by Smith, who asked: “Do you want some of me?”
Miss Ritson said Smith then pulled a baseball bat out of his van and said: “Do you want some? I’m going to smash your car up and you.”
Mr Swan backed up and drove off before calling the police.
Smith pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour on September 9 when he appeared at Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Sacha Waxman, defending, said it was an “unpleasant incident” which had “spiralled out of control”.
Miss Waxman told how Mr Swan had overtaken on a bend which led to exchanges being made by both drivers. She said Smith was “summoned” to the side of the road and he exchanged words with the other driver.
“He armed himself with the baseball bat. He held it down by his side, he held it as a preventative measure,” she said.
Miss Waxman said Smith, of Clay Lake in Spalding, had the bat in his possession because he intended to use it to go ferreting later the same day.
District judge John Stobart said: “I am sure you have told the defendant of the court’s views on anything approaching road rage and that’s exactly what this is.”
Smith was sentenced after a report was drawn up by the Probation Service.
Mr Stobart said: “Anyone that involves themselves in this kind of behaviour is inviting the court to send them away for a long time. I have taken into account your early guilty plea and regret.”
Mr Stobart acknowledged Mr Swan had not been assaulted and Smith voluntarily withdrew from the confrontation.
Smith was sentenced to 60 days in prison for possessing the baseball bat and a further 30 days to run concurrently for breaching the Public Order Act. This was suspended for a year.
He must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work, pay £50 compensation to Mr Swan and £85 prosecution costs.