A DRIVER has been found guilty of careless driving in what was originally a dangerous driving and assault by beating case after an incident on the M3 near Basingstoke.

Christopher Scott, 45, of Woodhouse, Smannell, Andover, a company director of an electrical engineering company, appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Monday, 6 November after pleading not guilty to driving his BMW 640D dangerously on the M3 and assault by beating on the same motorway.

The court heard how on December 9, 2016, Scott was driving home when he undertook a vehicle belonging to a Richard Cresswell at the beginning of roadworks that cut three lanes down into one.

Following this manoeuvre, Scott slowed his vehicle which caused Mr Cresswell to run into the back of Scott’s BMW.

When the two men pulled into the closed off lanes to swap insurance details, it was alleged Scott hit Mr Cresswell with a piece of debris from his car and also pushed him in the chest after becoming “aggressive and angry”.

Giving evidence, Mr Cresswell told the court: “When we spoke, Mr Scott squared up to me, I wanted to avoid confrontation and so went back to my car, he then followed me and pushed me.”

A witness who gave evidence disputed this and said the men were just talking and were not overly aggressive to each other.

Giving evidence, Scott said: “I was annoyed and upset about the crash because the car was new to me, but I wasn’t angry at Mr Cresswell, he just seemed to blame me for the crash.

“I admit that my undertaking manoeuvre was a bad decision, it seemed like the best thing to do at the time, I didn’t think I would get into the lane in time.”

The court also heard Mr Cresswell refused to give his insurance details to Scott until the police arrived at the scene.

During sentencing, magistrates said: “We dismiss the assault by beating because we cannot be sure beyond reasonable doubt that it did take place.

“In regards to the second offence, we sentence you for careless driving not dangerous driving.

“This is because your manoeuvre was without due care and attention and did not fall into the category of dangerous driving.”

Scott was given six points on his licence, ordered to pay £50 in victim surcharges, £85 court costs and a £500 fine.