Road rage man is jailed
PENSIONER Donald Bowden, president of the Nene Parade Action Group in March, has been given a four-month jail sentence for assaulting a driver in a road rage incident. But immediately after his sentence was announced on Wednesday, the 66-year-old handed i
PENSIONER Donald Bowden, president of the Nene Parade Action Group in March, has been given a four-month jail sentence for assaulting a driver in a road rage incident.But immediately after his sentence was announced on Wednesday, the 66-year-old handed in a notice of appeal, and Fenland magistrates released him on bail until the appeal is heard.Bowden had denied the assault, but was found guilty after a trial last month. On hearing the decision to jail him, Bowden announced: "It is outrageous, I was not there. I have been fitted up by the police."After the trial, the probation service was asked to prepare a report on Bowden, but no report was forthcoming, because Bowden had been "persuaded to leave" the Wisbech probation office after becoming enraged. The probation service was no longer prepared to work with him, magistrates were told. Mr Bowden told the court he was making a complaint about a probation officer."He felt he was not treated in a manner a gentleman of his age should have been treated, and was accused of lying about his hearing problem," explained Caroline Allison, defending.Bowden had been provided with special headphones for the two-day trial and again for the sentencing hearing on Wednesday, and Miss Allison said he had been referred by a doctor for a hearing aid.Before sentencing Bowden, the court heard how he punched Ian Hirsch and bit him on the finger after being involved in a 'near miss' with a car driven by Mr Hirsch in Dartford Road, March, on June 18 last yearMr Hirsch managed to avoid Bowden's vehicle, and Bowden became verbally abusive. When Mr Hirsch said he would call the police, Bowden punched him twice.Bowden, 66, of Nene Parade, March, had a previous conviction for assault.At the trial, Bowden said the Action Group had raised a petition, calling on police to take action against crime, and calling on the council to clear up the river bank.Bowden said he knew nothing about the assault on Mr Hirsch and was not present at the scene of the alleged incident. He also said his various disabilities would have made it impossible for him to carry out the alleged assault.Presiding magistrate Alan Jones told him: "Road rage incidents of type attract a custodial sentence of months rather than weeks, because the courts are becoming quite worried about the effect these offences have in the community."Your previous convictions show a propensity for violence, albeit on a sporadic basis, you cannot be considered a man entirely of good character."Your community work is laudable but is no excuse for violent behaviour or an excuse not to impose an appropriate sentence."Bowden was told to pay compensation of £220 to Mr Hirsch.