A “gentleman” cyclist has been found guilty of assault by beating after punching a van driver who drove too close to him.

Christopher Alan Wade, of Crofters Mill, Sutton-in-Craven, near Keighley, denied assault and said he had acted in self-defence after he claimed van driver Jeffrey Walker bit his hand following the incident in Keighley Road, Skipton, on November 9.

But magistrates said they did not accept Wade’s self-defence argument and found him guilty.

Wade, 48, believed Mr Walker had passed too close and had banged on the side of the van, before confronting Mr Walker through the driver’s window.

Wade’s long term friend and fellow cyclist, Alistair Geldhart, told the court that Wade was a “gentleman” who was a supporter of the Dave Rayner Fund for young cyclists.

Wade was fined £400 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Walker. He must also pay court costs of £300 and victim surcharge of £40.