Road rage row sees hammer attack on van

Police traced the man responsible for the road rage incident
Police traced the man responsible for the road rage incident

Martin McLernon lost his temper after a van in front of the car he was a passenger in turned without indicating.

When both vehicles stopped, he and the driver then became involved in a “loud” argument.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard last Thursday the road rage incident at Mungalend Court, Bankside, at around 4.45pm on November 16 ended with McLernon taking a hammer and pick axe handle from the car and using it to smash the van’s windscreen and damage the bodywork.

The court was told he then got back into the vehicle and was driven home.

When he was later traced to his house by the police, McLernon told them: “I don’t know what you are talking about” – but he was arrested and charged with wilfull or reckless damage.

McLernon appeared from custody for sentence after admitting the offence – and breaching bail conditions imposed by the court in April – at a previous hearing when he was remanded for social workers to complete background reports.

Defence lawyer Andy Bryson urged the court not to send McLernon back to jail.

He said: “This was a minor incident that escalated beyong all imagining. He completely lost his temper and appreciates his behaviour was totally unacceptable.”

Mr Bryson said McLernon (22), from 37 Langlees Street, Langlees, has a “number of issues” and suffers from learning difficulties.

He added: “At times he is unable to think situations through and calm down.”

Placing him on a supervised 12-month community payback order with the added condition he complete 150 hours unpaid work within four months, Sheriff Craig Caldwell told him: “This was entirely unacceptable behaviour following what was a minor traffic incident. You attacked another road user and the public has to be protected from behaviour like that.”

Although McLernan was not driving the vehicle, Sheriff Caldwell also disqualified him for six months.

lLatest figures show that 75 per cent of drivers in the UK are wound up enough by the bad habits of others to commit ‘road rage’.

A study by Continental Tyres shows poor driving can trigger incidents that can lead to heated exchanges.