A driver for the disabled threatened a motorist with a knife during a road rage incident, a court heard.Oh, this one'll be good...
Victim Paul Bryan was parked in Church Street, Alfreton, on February 7, waiting to collect his partner when a minibus driven by Ian McLaughlin pulled up in front of his car.And, if he was legally parked, not in an 'Ambulance' marked bay, he was quite entitled to do so, surely?
Chesterfield magistrates were told that McLaughlin flashed his lights, wanting Mr Bryan to move, but he stayed put.
And those 'Please keep your distance - Wheelchair ramp' signs on the backs of specially-adapted minibuses are requests for courtesy, not legally-enforceable demands.
He didn't, after all, have to pull up in front - by his own actions, he placed himself in the position of difficulty.
But it seems Mr McLaughlin is a person for whom everything is someone else's fault:'Unaware' because, well, they didn't check?
McLaughlin helped a passenger in a wheelchair to get off the Peugeot minibus and then tapped on Mr Bryan's car window.Pretty stupid behaviour, given that, as it turned out, McLaughlin wasn't exactly incognito:
Mike Treharne, prosecuting, said: "Mr Bryan opened the window and the defendant shouted and swore at him saying: 'You could see I had a disabled passenger'.
"Mr Bryan said he hadn't realised and he tried to apologise and the defendant said 'You'll move next time or I'll cut your throat'.
"He had a knife in his left hand."
McLaughlin, 46, drove away and Mr Bryan noted the registration number and called police, who traced the minibus to the Ripley-based People's Mobility Network.And as it turned out, not only wasn't he incognito, he wasn't even supposed to be driving!
"They found he was employed as a taxi or bus driver and a check showed he was a disqualified driver and had deceived his employers with a duplicate driving licence.Oh dear. It doesn't look good, does it?
"His employers said he had been driving their vehicles since December 5 and he had received £3,198 in wages," said Mr Treharne, adding that a lock-knife with a three-inch blade was found under a seat in the minibus.
McLaughin told police he had been having "a manic day" and his behaviour was "way over the top".That's putting it mildly!
He said his partner was a trustee for the mobility organisation and was unaware he had been disqualified last August for drink-driving.Someone really needs to vet their staff a little better, rather than relying on the current squeeze of one of the trustees!
McLaughlin, of Station Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, admitted using threatening behaviour, possessing a blade in public, fraud and driving while disqualified and without insurance. Magistrates committed him to Derby Crown Court on March 21 for sentencing.
"He accepts his behaviour was nothing short of abhorrent," said Joe Harvey, for McLaughlin.
"He worked to earn the money and there was no loss to the employers other than they were exposed to a risk of which they were unaware."