A road-rage driver attacked a 74-year-old female motorist and threatened to set fire to her car.
Derby Crown Court heard how Charlie Matthias, 20, of Morton Avenue, Clay Cross, screamed through the window of the pensioner’s car that she was an old cow who should not be on the road before she got out of her car.
Car mechanic Matthias told the victim he was a policeman and was going to arrest her and he grabbed her arms and she fell.
The stated in a victim impact statement, that since the incident she not longer goes out in her car and is constantly looking out of her window in fear.
Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “The physical injuries are not particularly serious but, in my view, the psychological trauma she has suffered because of this is significant.
“You behaved stupidly and arrogantly over a minor crash.
“She is 74-years-old and was driving her ill friend home.
“Your wing mirrors collided and you pulled over.
“You screamed into her window, calling her an ‘old cow’ and telling her you would set fire to her car while she was sat in it.
“You then told her you were a police officer and grabbed her by the arms and she fell.”
Steven Taylor, prosecuting, said the victim was driving her car on Alfreton Road, Blackwell, on April 23, and had pulled in to let oncoming traffic pass before pulling out.
He said Matthias came driving towards her “at speed” and their wing mirrors collided.
Mr Taylor added: “She parked up and he pulled in and went over to her window.
“He started shouting at her ‘you old cow, you shouldn’t be on the road, I will set fire to your car with you in it’.
“She got out of her car and he then said to her ‘do you know who I am? I’m a police officer and so is my dad’.
“He then said he was arresting her, grabbed both her arms and bent them backwards.
“She fell backwards and toppled over.”
Mr Taylor said Matthias left the scene, but as he got in his car was described by one witness as looking “ashamed with his head lowered”.
Matthias claimed to police the woman had produced a tyre iron from the boot of her car and hit him over the head with it a couple of times.
He then denied what he had done until the day of his trial when he pleaded guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and impersonating a police officer.
Matthias was sentenced to eight-months of custody suspended for two years with a six-month curfew.
He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation and to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
Joe Harvey, defending, said Matthias works as a foreman at a motor garage and had never been in trouble with the police before.
He said: “His employers value his work as he mentors the apprentices.
“He is incredibly appalled and ashamed that he carried out this abhorrent action which took place at a time when he was suffering depression and anxiety which he says meant he went from being absolutely fine one minute to completely losing his temper the next.”