Man assaulted by swearing cyclist who rode through shopping centre
PUBLISHED: 17:18 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:43 08 October 2020
A cyclist pushed and swore at a man who challenged him for riding his bike through a shopping centre, a court heard.
Mason Topliss, 26, of Beresford Road, Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and using threatening and abusive words to cause harassment when he appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on October 7.
According to prosecutor Jane Walker, Topliss was cycling back and forth through the Britten Centre in Lowestoft on the afternoon of January 30 when he was challenged by the complainant and the centre manager.
She said: “The defendant became aggressive and pushed the complainant when he told him to stop riding his bike, causing him to fall backwards. But there was no injury.
“Topliss said in an interview that he wasn’t aware you couldn’t cycle through the shopping centre, that he heard someone shout at him to stop cycling and pushed them away when they appeared to be coming towards him.”
Arthur Balls, mitigating, said that Topliss “hadn’t set out to be arrogant on the day in question”.
He said: “Mr Topliss has worked most of his adult life as a scaffolder, but just before this incident he’d been made unemployed.
“He had been to the job centre in preparation for an interview the next day, and was doing a lot of back and forth between the shops and job centre. He was on a mission. He had a lot he needed to get done that day and this was the reason he was cycling.”
On the matter of the swearing, Mr Balls said “colourful language” was normalised on the building sites Topliss worked at.
He said: “It’s true Mr Topliss used some very colourful language, but he is a builder. It’s often the case that these sort of words are banded around in those contexts.
“He has two children aged 10 and four, and is a hard-working man who got frustrated.”
Chair of the bench Paul Allen said what Topliss did “wasn’t very clever”.
He said: “You need to use your head a bit more. What would your kids say if they saw you riding your bike through the shopping centre? They’d probably think: ‘Dad, that’s not very sensible’”.
Topliss was told to pay £50 prosecution costs and £32 as a victim surcharge. He was also handed a £75 fine.
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