Baseball bat brandishing dangerous driver sentenced

McKenzie’s blue Mercedes Sprinter van Pic: Sussex Police

A motorist who was caught on camera threatening another driver on the M23 with a baseball bat has been convicted at Lewes Crown Court.

Joshua McKenzie was behind the wheel of a blue Mercedes Sprinter van on the northbound carriageway near junction 9 when he approached a white Vauxhall Corsa.

The Corsa was traveling in lane three at 70mph – the national speed limit – when 36-year-old McKenzie flashed his lights and approached in his van from behind and undertook the motorist.

According to Sussex police, Mckenzie then braked “sharply” on numerous occasions and swerved between lanes, causing the Corsa’s driver to take evasive action and decrease its speed to 27mph.

Initially, the Corsa’s driver was unable to move to lane two due to other traffic.

McKenzie, a building laborer, of Halton Road, Kenly then made a hand gesture and brandished a baseball bat waving it through the driver side window.

The incident which occurred on 12 July 2017, was captured on dashcam by the Corsa driver, who subsequently reported it via Operation Crackdown.

Mckenzie brandishing a Baseball bat Pic: Sussex Police

McKenzie was issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) but he did not respond.

Police were eventually able to catch up with McKenzie. He confirmed that he was aware of the incident but denied the allegations.

McKenzie pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on July 9; he was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay a £140 victim surcharge.

McKenzie must take an extended re-test if he wishes to drive again.

Sergeant Phil Badman, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “This is a clear case of dangerous, irresponsible and intimidating behaviour, and there is no place for such actions on our roads.

“Thankfully no one was hurt on this occasion, and we were able to bring the defendant to justice after the victim reported the incident to us via Operation Crackdown.”

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