Road rage attack over Green Cross Code in Churwell street

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A road rage victim suffered a gash to his face after being punched by his neighbour during a row in the street where they lived, a court heard.

John Burnell of School Street, Churwell jumped out of his car and attacked the victim after he ran into the path of his vehicle.

After the assault Burnell said to a witness: “Does he not know the Green Cross Code!?”

Burnell was made the subject of a 12-month community order, ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £400 compensation to the victim, who had to have six stitches to an eye wound. Leeds Crown Court heard Burnell was returning from a Saturday morning shopping trip when the incident occurred near to his Churwell home.

Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said Burnell had to brake hard when the victim ran in front of his car. Burnell wound down the window and swore at him before calling him an idiot.

Burnell then got out of his car and the two men argued before squaring up to each other.

Witnesses described how the men grappled and fell to the floor. Burnell managed to get on top of the victim and punched him to the head and face. Mr Nassiri said one of the witnesses tried to stop the attack and Burnell said: “He ran straight out in front of me. Does he not know the Green Cross Code!?”

Burnell was arrested and initially claimed he had acted in self defence.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said Burnell did not get out of his car intent on violence but accepted responsibility for his actions.

He described the attack as out of character because Burnell was “mild mannered” and had no previous convictions.

Recorder Peter Babb said: “It was a road rage incident of some seriousness.”