Matthew Scott Rowen has pleaded not guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assault occasioning bodily harm to a cyclist he allegedly rammed off the road and punched repeatedly. Picture: 7 News
Matthew Scott Rowen has pleaded not guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and assault occasioning bodily harm to a cyclist he allegedly rammed off the road and punched repeatedly. Picture: 7 News

Raging 4WD driver runs down cyclist, court hears

A FOUR-wheel-drive and boat trailer is alleged to have brushed within centimetres of five cyclists before its driver swerved at one, rammed them off the road and launched a vicious assault.

Maroochydore District Court heard Matthew Scott Rowen was responsible for the alleged dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm on Cooroy-Noosa Rd, Tewantin the morning of Sunday, August 28, 2016.

He pleaded not guilty to both charges today.

His alleged victim, Gary McLennan then aged 45, was leading the cycling group and told the court he accelerated after the vehicle, onto the roundabout intersecting Butler St and Poinciana Ave, and "tapped" the rear passenger side of the 4WD with his open right hand.

Mr McLennan told the court in 30 years of cycling, he had "tapped" about six vehicles in response to near misses or being hit.

Defence barrister Jack Kennedy suggested Mr McLennan tried to open the rear passenger door while Mr Rowen's two children were seated in the back.

Mr McLennan denied this and any suggestion he had acted dangerously.

"I wanted to let the driver know that what happened wasn't acceptable," he said.

Mr McLennan said he and the female front-seat passenger gave each other "the finger", before he saw the male driver turn the steering wheel deliberately in his direction and crash into him.

The court heard Mr McLennan's bike hit the gutter and was thrown into a garden bed.

Mr Rowen allegedly stopped the 4WD, got out and said "how dare you touch my f--king car?", before he threw five punches at Mr McLennan's head and landed two then drove off. Mr McLennan suffered a cut eyebrow, swollen lip and fractured rib as a result of the incident.

The first eyewitness, a 70-year-old member of the cycling group, told the court he had "vivid memories" of the incident as it was the "worst cases of road rage" he had seen.

The trial is expected to last three days.