Driver had to press SOS button after Rugby man forced him onto the hard shoulder and assaulted him

A road-rage driver cut in front of another car on the M6, then slammed on his brakes and forced the other motorist to stop on the hard shoulder before assaulting him.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 9:39 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 9:40 am
File image.

But after his dangerous and violent behaviour had been captured on the other car’s dashcam, Habib Butt pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and affray.

And at Warwick Crown Court, Butt (28) of Lelleford Close, Long Lawford, Rugby, who works for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, was jailed for 12 months.

Prosecutor Ian Speed said that at 6.45am on February 14 victim Owen Jenkins was driving his Jaguar north on the M6 after joining the motorway at junction one.

When he moved out into lane two to overtake a lorry, the driver of a red Honda Civic which was in lane two overtook him in the outside lane, sounding his horn.

The Civic, driven by Butt, then cut back in in front of the Jaguar and braked sharply, causing Mr Jenkins to move out into the outside lane to avoid a collision.

But the Honda also moved across to prevent the Jaguar overtaking, and when Mr Jenkins pulled back into the middle lane, Butt straddled the two lanes to block his way, so he pulled over into the inside lane, only for Butt to do the same.

And when the Jaguar driver resorted to going onto the hard shoulder, Butt again pulled over, straddling the line between the first lane and the hard shoulder, and slowed to a stop.

As a result, the Jaguar also had to stop, and Butt and his passenger, his brother, jumped out of the Honda, which was still partly in the inside lane, and ran back to the Jaguar.

They did so without putting the handbrake on, and as they confronted Mr Jenkins, the Honda rolled back into the front of the Jaguar.

The dashcam footage from the Jaguar, showing the Honda’s movement on the motorway and recording confrontation on the hard shoulder, during which Butt was threatening and abusive, was played in court.

During the incident Butt reached in through the driver’s window to grab Mr Jenkins, ripping his shirt and causing bruising, and pulled his glasses off and threw them onto the carriageway.

But Mr Jenkins hit an SOS button in his car, and on seeing that, Butt and his brother rushed back to the Honda and sped away, said Mr Speed.

When he was later arrested Butt denied the allegation and put the blame on Mr Jenkins, accusing him of bad driving and an aggressive attitude – but then made no comment when he was shown the damning dashcam recording.

Graeme Simpson, defending, said that at the time Butt was under stress, having just been promoted to a very responsible managerial role, and got married in the same month.

“It was only after this incident it dawned on him that he was a ticking time-bomb, and he saw a psychiatrist of his own volition.

“There was a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and he was immediately medicated and has been taking that medication ever since,” said Mr Simpson.

“This is a man who had a mental health illness which was undiagnosed at the time, and he has done all he can to ensure nothing of this nature ever happens again.”

Arguing for a suspended sentence, he added that Butt, who was now employed in a senior role with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, has shown ‘very genuine remorse for his behaviour.’

But jailing Butt, and banning him from driving for three-and-a-half years, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “The actions of people like you have real consequences.

“You carried out an action which is often called road-rage, but I call it violence on the roadway.

“You pulled very close in front of him and tried to stop him, and you did that more than once.

“There was a real danger to this man and to other road-users. It was dangerous driving of the worst kind. There was a danger of death and serious injury.”

Of what happened on the hard shoulder, he said: “You were pulling him and you caused injury. It was utterly terrifying. This could not be met by anything other than an immediate sentence.”