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Man ‘racially abused four cyclists’ before ‘reversing into them’ in Essex

Sentence - Man ‘racially abused four cyclists’ in Essex <i>(Image: Essex Police)</i>
Sentence - Man ‘racially abused four cyclists’ in Essex (Image: Essex Police)

A MAN has been sentenced after “racially abusing” a group of cyclists before reversing into them in Essex.

Harry Downer, 21, of no fixed abode, has been given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to multiple offences.

Essex Police received reports four cyclists were riding in Bower Hill, Epping, when a car drove dangerously out of a nearby lane on January 8, 2023.

The driver, Downer, then 20, then stopped the vehicle in front of the group and racially abused the cyclists before reversing at the group causing injuries to the victims and damage to the bicycles.

He then left the scene before returning a few minutes later and racially abusing them again.

Downer was charged with four counts of racially aggravated public order offences, two counts of racially aggravated common assault, two counts of racially aggravated beating, two counts of racially aggravated criminal damage, one count of dangerous driving and one count of using a fraudulent number plate.

Separately from this incident, Downer also pleases guilty to conspiracy to steal motor vehicles across Hertfordshire and Essex between December 2021 and January 2023.

Downer has been sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for 24 months. He has also been given a 30-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, must complete 300 hours of unpaid work, must wear an electronic tag to ensure he abides by a curfew for six months, and has been offered 12 sessions of mental health treatment.

He has also been suspended from driving for 20 months and must complete an extended test when reapplying for a driving licence. Downer was also fined £80 for using false licence plates.

Investigating officers, Con Olivia Clark and Elliot Harris, said: “We are glad to see the courts use the full breadth of their powers when sentencing Downer.

“It is completely and utterly unacceptable for anyone to be subject to verbal and physical racial abuse as was the case in Epping. We simply will not tolerate people being targeted in this way.

“All the victims and officers in this case have seen justice served with this sentencing. This has been a distressing investigation, and we’d like to thank all our colleagues for the time and energy they put into this.”