A ROAD rage driver, on his way to buy milk for cheese-making, admitted he lost control in dramatic scenes which saw 14 police cars called in to arrest him.
Police swooped on Andrew Relf outside the Lidl supermarket in Malvern Link after fears he was armed with a gun.
They were called by a frightened driver reporting two vehicles “acting like idiots and crashing into each other”.
She also reported Relf having a “weapon” in the back of his jeans.
The weapon turned out to be a heavy-duty torch and a charge of possessing an offensive weapon was dropped when Relf appeared before Worcester Magistrates Court yesterday.
However Relf admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words with intent to cause fear or violence, and another of obstructing a police officer.
Sarah Stock, prosecuting, said the incident began at about 2.20pm on Tuesday, January 15.
Relf believed he was cut up by another driver, Samuel White-Dewson, on the Ketch roundabout at St Peter’s, in Worcester.
She said Mr White-Dewson suddenly became aware of Relf’s black Jaguar, with personalised plates, close behind him, beeping his horn and making rude gestures.
Mr White-Dewson gestured back and “stood on the brakes” and, soon after joining the A449 at Powick, Relf stopped, his car blocking the carriageway.
Mr White-Dewson approached Relf’s car and could see the torch in his hand.
Relf, aged 45, of Hampton Court Road, Birmingham, moved the torch towards the window and threatened to use it against Mr White-Dewson, who returned to his car. Relf carried on but pulled over in a bus stop just along the road.
Mr White-Dewson drove past but Relf followed and “forced his way back in front”.
He again stopped, blocking the road, and walked to Mr White-Dewson’s car.
They argued and “without warning” Relf aimed a punch through the window, although no contact was made.
Relf was “hostile and highly agitated” when stopped in Malvern Link by police.
He was placed in a wristlock but continued to resist and police had to use “knee strikes” to bring him to the floor.
Mrs Stock said Relf claimed he was “confused” and “scared he would be killed”, adding that he sustained two broken ribs in the struggle.
Chris Gibbons, defending, said “it was clear police thought they were dealing with a man with a gun”.
He said Relf deeply regretted the incident.
Relf, who is training to be a tailor, had been driving to Ledbury to pick up fresh, un-pasteurised milk for making his own cheese and butter.
Magistrates handed him a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and fined him £200.
After the hearing, Relf told your Worcester News the incident was “two men, doing what men do, in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
He said: “I am very sorry for what happened. I have worked very hard to maintain a good professional and personal approach to all aspects of my life.
“Unfortunately this was an isolated incident where I was unable to keep control.”