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Road rage driver avoids further punishment as six months hard knitting satisfies sheriff

Amanda McCabe knitted her way out of further punishment
Amanda McCabe knitted her way out of further punishment

A road rage driver sentenced to six months hard knitting by a sheriff has walked free from court after a sheriff told her he was satisfied with her efforts.

Amanda McCabe followed Claire Smith around Dundee on January 8 before boxing her in at a car park, hauling open her driver’s side door and attacking her.

At an earlier hearing, McCabe claimed the fact she had followed Ms Smith was pure co-incidence, as she had been travelling to a specialist wool shop in Dundee’s Cardean street near where the assault took place.

Sheriff John Rafferty told McCabe: “If you are a skilled knitter then I am sure that you could produce some goods for charity.

“You will bring to court several items that you have knitted that you are prepared to donate to a charity shop.”

McCabe arrived at court on Wednesday clutching a large gift bag containing the pieces she had created.

Sheriff John Rafferty viewed them in his chambers before coming on the bench to sentence McCabe. Her lawyer promised to take them to a charity shop “to help the needy”.

Fiscal depute John Adams earlier told Dundee Sheriff Court Ms Smith and a friend had been driving on the city’s Kingsway when the accused entered from a slip road.

Mr Adams said: “Ms Smith was not very impressed with the accused’s driving and made her feelings known. Unfortunately this led to the accused following Ms Smith for around five to 10 minutes, from the Kingsway to Cardean Street.”

Miss Smith then took a wrong turn and entered a car park to perform a U-turn, prompting McCabe to pounce. She boxed in her car and leaped from the driver’s seat before opening her door and punching her once on the face.

Miss Smith was left with a red mark but did not require medical attention.

McCabe, 47, of Maplewood Drive, Dundee, pleaded guilty to assault.

Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, said: “Your lordship chose a unique approach to this from the sewing box.

“As a result she was the target of abuse on social media, where everyone can have an opinion and express it in writing. She was made out to be some kind of Madame Defarge character from A Tale of Two Cities.”

Sheriff Rafferty admonished her, adding: “I gave you an opportunity to make reparation to society and you did so at no cost to the public purse.”

McCabe made no comment as she left court.

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