UPDATE: Jury clears Mildenhall driver of knocking cyclist from bike

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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A woman from Mildenhall has today (Thursday) been found not guilty by a jury of charges of dangerous driving and assault causing actual bodily harm after it was alleged she knocked a cyclist from his bike.

Leanne Charles, 40, of Gonville Close, had been on trial at Ipswich Crown Court had denied both offences.

It took the jury less than an hour to clear Charles of both charges. After the verdicts were returned, Mr Recorder Ian Evans told Charles that she was free to leave the court.

The court had heard allegations that Charles had been driving a car that had been involved in an incident in Gonville Close on June 26 last year when a sign placed in the road ‘for a laugh’ by friends attending a barbecue was taken.

It was also alleged that later as Ben Hirst was cycling in College Heath Road he was knocked off by the same car being driven by Charles after it mounted the footpath.

On Wednesday Mr Hirst told the court how he and friends had gathered at an address in Gonville Close for a barbecue and placed a three foot high flourescent yellow sign in the road.

Giving evidence, he said a car came along the road and stopped, the male passenger getting out and throwing the sign into a bush before driving off.

Shortly afterwards the car returned and the passenger got out, said, “Thank you for the sign”, and was driven away with it.

Later as Mr Hirst was cycling with three friends in College Heath Road, close to St John’s Close, he became aware of a car approaching fast from behind as they cycled along the footpath, it was alleged.

Mr Hirst said he saw a dark coloured vehicle with no lights on with all four of its wheels on the pavement. He told the court he was struck by the vehcile and thrown from his bike.

Giving evidence, Charles denied having ever driven a car dangerously. She said that she had not been involved in any indents involving Mr Hirst or his friends on the evening it was alleged.

Charles told the jury that she had not been the driver of the car involved in knocking Mr Hirst from his bike and said she was not aware why the allegations had been made against her.