A dangerous driver who brandished a baseball bat out of his window on the motorway has been convicted in court.
Joshua McKenzie was driving a blue Mercedes Sprinter van on the M23 northbound when he undertook a white Vauxhall Corsa.
He then braked sharply on numerous occasions and swerved between lanes, causing the victim to take evasive action and decrease its speed to 27mph. He also made a hand gesture and brandished a baseball bat.
The Corsa had been travelling in lane three at its restricted speed of 70mph – the national speed limit – when McKenzie approached in his van from behind.
The 36-year-old flashed his lights but the Corsa was initially unable to manoeuvre to lane two due to other traffic.
The incident, which occurred on 12 July 2017, was captured on dash cam by the Corsa driver, who subsequently reported it via Operation Crackdown
McKenzie, a building labourer, of Halton Road, Kenley, Surrey, was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) but no reply was received. Following further enquiries, he later confirmed he was aware of the incident, but he denied the allegations. However, he eventually admitted the offence of dangerous driving, and at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday 9 July he was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and must pay a £140 victim surcharge. He must also 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. “Operation Crackdown is an online platform where you can report incidents of dangerous of antisocial driving. Each report will be fully investigated and, where necessary, we may pursue criminal proceedings.”