Former Hartlepool Mail editor cleared of assault after road argument

Former Mail editor Harry Blackwood after he was cleared of assault and public order offences at Teesside Magistrates' Court
Former Mail editor Harry Blackwood after he was cleared of assault and public order offences at Teesside Magistrates' Court
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A keen cyclist has been cleared of assault after an argument with a motorist.

Harry Blackwood was accused of common assault and a public order offence after an altercation in Wolviston Road, Billingham, on October 1 last year.

Harry Blackwood.

Harry Blackwood.

A trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard the experienced cyclist, 58, of Filpoke Lane, Blackhall, was returning home after training on his bike.

Mr Blackwood, a former Hartlepool Mail editor, was riding in the carriageway of the road, when passing driver David Walker tooted the horn of his car before overtaking, stopping and reversing towards Mr Blackwood.

The car narrowly missed Mr Blackwood before he went in front of him and reversed towards him again, also missing. Mr Walker then claimed Mr Blackwood had climbed through his car window and assaulted him, leaving a mark on his arm.

A passing motorist saw what happened and pursued Mr Walker after he drove away from the scene before meeting up with Mr Blackwood to pass on his account of what happened to police.

My family have had to suffer through this. I knew I had done nothing wrong

Harry Blackwood

Mr Walker had also called police and when Pc James Grieves arrived near the scene, Mr Blackwood was taken into custody for swearing towards Mr Walker.

Chairman of the bench Gareth Hicks found Mr Blackwood not guilty.

“We found that Mr Walker’s evidence was delivered from an arrogant stance,” he said. “We then heard from Pc Grieves, whose evidence in the main was clear, but we feel that there were some inconsistencies.”

Mr Blackwood said: “My family have had to suffer through this. I knew I had done nothing wrong.”