Driver bashed with metal bar in road rage attack
A Coast man decided to take revenge on a driver who overtook him by attacking him with a metal bar when they stopped at the next set of lights, a court heard.
Brett Sims, 47, was mourning the loss of a 25-year relationship when his emotions got the better of him and he took it out on an innocent driver.
Police prosecutor Brendan Newman told Maroochydore Magistrates Court Sims pulled up beside a driver at the lights at David Low Way, Pacific Paradise on January 7.
The court heard when the light turned green, the victim accelerated past Sims to merge into the right lane in front of him.
Sims then yelled abuse at the victim and when the cars stopped at the lights at the next intersection, he got out of his car.
He pushed the mirror of the victim's truck forward.
"He's obtained a metal bar from his truck and returned to the victim's driver side of the truck and has proceeded to attack the victim with a metal bar in through the open window of the victim's truck," Sergeant Newman said.
The court heard Sims struck the victim multiple times to the shoulder, upper arm and back.
Sims then drove off.
"The victim stated he felt immediate pain to his shoulder, upper arm and back and required some medical treatment for his injuries," Sgt Newman said.
Sgt Newman said the victim reported the incident to police on January 8 and gave them Sims' registration number which they used to identify him.
The court heard Sims made admissions to police and couldn't give a reason for why he attacked the driver, other than that he just "lost it over the driving".
"We say there is no other way to categorise it other than road rage," Sgt Newman said.
Sims pleaded guilty on Tuesday to assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed.
Defence lawyer Anna Smith said Sims had written a letter of apology to the victim and was very remorseful for his actions.
"This offending is completely out of character for him," she said.
"Obviously the complainant's manner of driving has upset Mr Sims to put briefly."
The court heard the metal bar was used by Sims to tighten down straps to hold down a load and was kept in the tray of his truck.
"There was no premeditation or significant forethought in relation to arming himself," Ms Smith said.
"He instructs that he was actually pushing the bar through the open window in a poking motion."
Ms Smith said Sims committed the offence four days after he and his long term partner separated.
"Obviously his emotions and stress levels were higher at that particular time," she said.
"He is embarrassed and ashamed for the manner in which he behaved on that day."
Magistrate Chris Callaghan described it as a significant attack on the victim.
"Drivers of vehicles are entitled to drive and be safe on the road, not having people attacking them - in this case with a metal bar," he said.
Mr Callaghan sentenced Sims to one year in jail, wholly suspended for 18 months.
A conviction was recorded.