Stevenage postman acquitted of assaulting schoolboy
- Credit: Archant
A POSTMAN who threw his mail bag in front of a schoolboy on his bike causing him to injure himself has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Peter Allam was acquitted of assault by beating on Friday after magistrates concluded he was trying to prevent an accident.
The 62-year-old was collecting mail from a postbox in Stevenage High Street in November last year when he saw two schoolboys cycling on the pavement towards him.
The court watched CCTV footage which showed Mr Allam throw his postbag into the path of an 11-year-old boy, who was cycling with a friend after finishing school.
The boy, whose identity was protected by the court, testified at Hertford Magistrates’ Court via video link.
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He said: “I chose to ride on the pavement because it’s safer than riding on the road. There’s a lot of silly drivers that could run me over.
“I moved over to the right side of the pavement because I didn’t want to hit the postman. As I moved out I think the postman saw me and he threw his post bag out in front of my front wheel. My back wheel lifted up and I whacked my privates on the crossbar. I was in excruciating pain.”
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A conversation followed where Mr Allam, of Orchard Way in Knebworth, told the boys to read the Highway Code.
Mr Allam, who has worked for the Post Office in Stevenage since 1994, told the court he had seen a white van go into a side road just past the postbox and acted for fear of an accident.
“I dropped the bag on the pavement in the hope they would stop”, he said.
“I had this dreadful image of an accident occurring with a vehicle coming from the side road or someone stepping out of the shop. In the split second that I had I made a decision to try to prevent it.”
Asked what he would do if he was faced with the same situation, Mr Allam added: “I think I would do the same thing again, otherwise I would never be able to reconcile my conscience.”
Prosecutor Lorraine Telford claimed Mr Allam’s had “snapped”, fed up with people cycling on the pavement.
Magistrates retired for more than a hour to consider their verdict before chairman of the bench Nick Attoe found Mr Allam not guilty.
Summing up, Mr Attoe said: “We do believe you were trying to prevent an accident from happening but you were mistaken in that preconceived notion of danger at that time. We do believe this was an appropriate response because it was a split second decision made at that time.”
A tearful Mr Allam was hugged by family and friends following the verdict, and is now waiting to find out whether he can return to work following an internal Post Office investigation.