A MOTORIST flashed his lights and swerved in front of a fellow driver before stopping and confronting him with a metal bar, a court heard.
Yasser Hussain, 25, was driving a Mercedes van on to the A1231 near Washington, when he took offence at another driver who had overtaken him, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Neil Pallister, prosecuting, said the attack happened at 5.40pm on Saturday, March 30, when John Miller, his wife and two children, aged 11 and six, were returning to their home address in Washington.
“As they approached the slip road, Mr Miller moved his car to the outside lane to pave way for a Mercedes van, then overtook the van and moved back to the outside lane,” said Mr Pallister.
“The defendant, who was driving the van, drove alongside them and swerved in front of their car causing Mr Miller to brake and move lanes.
“The van was behind Mr Miller when he reached a roundabout, flashing its headlights and pulled up behind him. Mr Miller said ‘what are you playing at?’ The defendant got out of the van holding a metal bar.
“Mr Miller describes how the defendant came face-to-face with him and lifted the metal bar.
“Mr Miller, who believed he was going to be struck, pushed the defendant and wrestled him into a headlock. Mr Miller’s wife was on the phone to the police.
“The 11 and six-year-old children were screaming.”
Hussain walked back to his van telling Mr Miller: “I won’t forget you, I will get you”.
Brian Hagarty, defending, said: “Mr Hussain has accepted his behaviour was unreasonable and if the situation was to arise again he would deal with it differently. His own brother was killed in a car accident approximately a year beforehand which perhaps contributed to his sensitivity.
“He admits he should have de-escalated the situation rather than escalate it. He has a young child and works hard to support his family. He doesn’t need immediate custody.”
Hussain pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.
Another charge of possessing an offensive weapon was dropped by the prosecution due to lack of evidence.
His Honour Judge John Milford QC said: “An interchange occurred between you and Mr Miller.
“Mr Miller had stopped his car to get out and approached you with aggressive behaviour when he thought he was not at fault.
“You got out of your vehicle and a scuffle took place between the two of you.
“It was a frightening experience for Mr Miller and his children who were screaming.”
Hussain, of Wingrove Road North, Fenham, Newcastle, was sentenced to nine weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years.
He will also have to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work, undertake a 12-month supervision order and pay £80 in costs.