Wed, Feb 01, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Warne facing legal action from cyclist over traffic incident

AFP, Melbourne, Australia

Shane Warne speaks to reporters at a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Nov. 8 last year.

Photo: AFP

Shane Warne was facing legal action yesterday after a cyclist involved in a road rage incident with the Australian cricket great said he plans to sue for damages to his bike.

Web designer Mathew Hollingsworth, 28, is launching a civil claim in the Melbourne Magistrates Court seeking A$1,575 (US$1,668) for repairs to his high-tech bicycle, plus damages, interest and costs.

His lawyer, George Defteros, told Melbourne local radio that Warne’s very public outburst on Twitter about the incident was partly why his client decided to take action.

“I think in a way it was brought on by Twitter more than anything else,” he said. “There’s an incident and then all of a sudden it’s out there in the public domain, very, very quickly.”

Hollingsworth alleges Warne drove his sports car into him after a robust exchange of words in peak-hour traffic in Melbourne on Jan. 17.

The Herald Sun newspaper said that in a statutory declaration, Hollingsworth claimed Warne lurched his car forward, striking him on the leg.

“Once I was on the footpath, a young brunette woman in business clothing approached me offering assistance and asked: ‘Are you OK? Are you going to follow it up? I have the rego [registration],’” he said in the declaration. “I said: ‘No, it should be OK. It was Shane Warne.’ She seemed as surprised as me.”

Warne has denied any wrongdoing, using a series of Tweets on the evening of the incident to detail his version of events and lash out at “antagonistic” cyclists.

The spin king claimed a cyclist grabbed on to the back of his car as he headed home from a training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Then at a change of traffic lights, he alleged the man rode past and hit the hood with his hand. He said the bike rider then pulled up in front of his car, halting traffic, and abused him.

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