COURT: Alford man punched lorry driver after being ‘forced into a ditch’


An Alford driver who was confronted with a lorry on his side of the road, forcing him into the ditch, punched the driver when he came running back to see if everyone was all right, a court has heard.

Wesley James Barnett, 33, of St Wilfrid’s Close, Alford, admitted assaulting Mateusz Orzeszek by beating, as well as driving without insurance or a driving licence, when he appeared before Boston Magistrates’ Court on May 10.

Prosecuting, Jim Clare said Mr Orzeszek had made a statement to the police that he was driving a lorry on the A16 at Driby Top at around 2.15pm on December 18, when a bird flew up into the windscreen, which frightened him and he steered his lorry onto the wrong side of the road, causing Barnett, who was travelling in his Ford Focus in the opposite direction to leave the road into a ditch ending up with the car on its roof.

He said that when Mr Orzeszek stopped his lorry and ran back to help, Barnett punched him to the ground, which resulted in his losing consciousness for a short period and needing hospital treatment.

However, when police interviewed Barnett, he said Mr Orzeszek had been overtaking another lorry at the time and that he had been ‘greeted with a lorry on his side of the road’ and had gone into a ditch to avoid it.

He admitted he had hit the driver of the lorry a single blow with a closed fist but he had been ‘shocked’ at the time and knew he shouldn’t have done it.

Barnett, who was not represented, told the magistrates that he did hit him but that there had been ‘two lorries from the same company’ and that they had been ‘messing about’, with Mr Orzeszek’s lorry on his side of the road.

“There was no bird,” he told the court, “it was stupidity.”

The magistrates imposed a six month conditional discharge for the assault but declined to order any compensation be paid.

Barnett was ordered to pay a total of £325 in fines, costs and charges in relation to the driving offences.