A man has been convicted of careless driving, thanks to evidence from a rider’s helmet camera.

Ian Thatcher, 39, of McCarthy Way in Finchampstead, was found guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last week (17 September).

Tuppence1The near miss occurred last year (16 November) when rider Linda Harrison was hacking with a friend towards Coombes Woods in Barkham, Berkshire.

The pair were approaching a roundabout on Barkham Street when a Vauxhall Vivaro van driven by Thatcher began to overtake the horses. A red Ford vehicle was forced to make a sudden stop as the van was on the wrong side of the road.

Thatcher, who was holding a mobile phone at the time, then forced his way past the horses — leaving only an arm’s length between the van and Ms Harrison.

Both riders were wearing high-vis clothing and Ms Harrison had an HD CCTV camera fixed to her helmet, which was recording the ride.

“Luckily I was wearing the helmet camera,” Ms Harrison told H&H. “I bought one as I was fed up with all the lunatic drivers and have had a few near misses.

“The picture quality is amazing and I would recommend them to other riders. It’s just a little headband — you wouldn’t even know it’s there.”

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Ms Harrison was riding her friend’s horse, Tuppence, a 14.2hh black cob (pictured above).

“Luckily he was very well behaved and we avoided a serious accident,” she added.

Thatcher was found guilty of one count of driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road/in a public place without due care and attention.

Tuppence2He did not attend court and in his absence he was fined £383 and given six points on his driving licence.

“We have had a number of incidents on our rural roads in the past few years where horses have been involved or injured and this conviction just goes to show that the police will take seriously any allegation it receives against motorists,” said PC Laura Wright.

“The hat camera evidence available in this case has assisted towards the conviction of a man showing complete disregard to other road users.”

Riders wishing to discuss safety advice with PC Laura Wright or PCSO Suzanna Carr should contact Thames Valley Police by calling 101.