Sealand man in low mood 'snapped' during road rage attack

Reporter:

Paul Chamberlain

A bus driver who lost his job after he became involved in a road rage incident at work was involved in a second incident while driving his own car.

Stephen David Coombe, 41, was said to be in a low mood and was suffering from a lack of sleep, a court heard.

His wife had been through a difficulty pregnancy and the baby needed hospital treatment at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool.

Coombe, of Meadow View in Sealand, who was said to have snapped, was placed on a 12 month community order with 15 days rehabilitation aimed at dealing with how he reactedto stressful situations.

He was also ordered to carry out 140 hours unpaid work, with £260 prosecution costs and £200 compensation to the other driver.

Coombe admitted a public order offence but had been convicted of common assault at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor Justin Espie told Flintshire Magistrates Court that Coombe had recently lost his job because of a criminal damage and assault conviction during what was described as another road rage incident, also in May.

The current offences arose from an incident on May 16 when taxi driver Michael Medenica was ferrying four female passengers in a Transit vehicle.

It was about 9pm in Station Road, Queensferry, when he became aware of a Mondeo car immediately ahead which was alleged to have been driving erratically, speeding up and slowing down and veering into the opposite carriageway.

The complainant flashed his lights and the Mondeo “stopped dead” in the middle of the road and Coombe got out and approached the taxi.

He opened the door, slammed it shut, opened it again and the driver was able to push him away with his left foot, causing him to stumble backwards.

Mr Medenica asked him what he was doing and said he had passengers in the vehicle.

Coombe replied “I have got f…… kids in the car” and tried to grab him again, Mr Espie said.

He was again pushed back by the taxi driver using his foot and Coombe stormed off in a rage.

The passengers knew where Coombe lived and pointed out the address to the driver but it was alleged Coombe stopped ahead of him with his headlights on at one stage.

Probation officer Andrew Connah told the Mold court that Coombe was remorseful.

He knew he had placed himself and his family in jeopardy and he had only himself to blame.

At the time there were issues in his personal life. His baby was in hospital and that caused him to be in an extremely low mood.

David Matthews, defending, said ait the defendant’s wife had a difficulty pregnancy, the baby needed medical attention, he was only sleeping a few hours a night and stress triggered his alopecia.

“He had been driven to a very low point for several reasons,” said Mr Matthews.

When he was confronted with a situation on the road he “snapped” and had accepted that he done it twice within a month.

Mr Matthews said his client was a family man with two children.

The incidents had occurred when he and his partner were in an extremely difficult position.

District judge Gwyn Jones said the courts treated road rage offences extremely seriously but he had been persuaded he could draw back from custody.

He said Coombe was not able to cope with the basis things “we all have to deal with” and he had decided the best way forward was to impose the community order.

Email:

paul.chamberlain@nwn.co.uk

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