A police firearms officer was hit in the face by a road-rage van driver as he cycled along the East Lancs Road.
Policeman Andrew Large was cycling to work near Haydock Island shortly before 7am on April 15 when van driver David Worrall hurled abuse at him through the window.
St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how a heated argument ensued and the van driver, 36, then struck the policeman on the nose - causing it to bleed heavily - before driving off.
Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, told how Mr Large shouted at Worrall that he was a police officer, but the defendant just disappeared into the distance.
The victim did, however, take a note of the registration plate on Worrall’s vehicle and later reported the matter to the police.
Mr Large told officers how he had cycled to work on his mountain bike for the last 11 years and had been using his current route, without incident, for more than 12 months.
In interview, Worrall, who had no previous convictions, said he had heard a loud bang on the side of his vehicle as he passed the cyclist and claimed Mr Large had been riding “dangerously and erratically”.
He alleged that the cyclist then lent his head inside his vehicle and that he merely “flicked” his hand out to get the complainant’s head out of his van.
Frank Roe, defending Worrall, told how his client, of West End Road, Haydock, had only struck the policeman because the traffic was starting to move and he didn’t want to drive off while the cyclist’s head was still inside his van.
He accepted that the incident had “escalated in no time at all” but argued Worrall had acted recklessly, not maliciously.
Magistrates handed Worrall a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 costs.
He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation.
, £50 compensation to Mr Large and a £15 victim surcharge.