Angry Cambridge pensioner hits out at passing cyclist with bag of dog poo


A pensioner was walking her dog in a leafy Cambridge suburb when she came up with a memorable and slightly disgusting way of dealing with the scourge of cyclists who had been winding her up for some time.

On 12 September, when Michael Ramage approached Susan Currall, 75, "at high speed" on his bike, it was the last straw. The pair, who both live in Trumpington, had had run-ins before, over what Currall sees as the tyranny of cyclists on Cambridge's streets.

"He was close enough for me to reach out," she would later tell reporters outside Cambridge Magistrates Court, "so I attacked him with the poo bag."

When Mr Ramage, a senior lecturer in architecture at Cambridge University, said he was going to call the police, Currall asked sarcastically: "Are you going to call your Mummy as well?"

Currall, a former secretary at the British embassy in Washington, admitted a charge of assault by beating and was given a one year conditional discharge. She was ordered to pay £100 costs and £25 compensation to Mr Ramage to cover his dry cleaning bill.

She had hit him with the bag, containing the leavings of her 4-year-old lurcher, Rosie. The bag split and the contents went over him.

The unhygienic spat appears to be a product of the area's dual-use paths, which are shared by pedestrians and cyclists.

Monica Lentin, mitigating, claimed that her client was "provoked" by Mr Ramage because he got too close to her.

She said: "I think many people who are pedestrians in Cambridge would agree that having cyclists and pedestrians together doesn't work. The pedestrians do feel extremely harassed and I feel the same way myself.

"What makes it worse is you get lots of young men with powerful bikes riding at speed without any conscience that older people can't get out of the way easily.

"She did not see him [Ramage] coming in the opposite direction and he was not stopping for her which certainly in the olden days, a man on a bike would have got off and let her through.

"The council seems to be pursuing a policy that bicycles are king here in Cambridge and have rights over everyone else."

The court heard how Currall had no previous convictions. But she was cautioned twice, for common assault and criminal damage following a dispute with a neighbour.

Mr Ramage described the attack as "pretty unpleasant".

He said: "I would not change my route, but I do go down there with a lot of trepidation.

"I'm not physically intimidated, I know I won't suffer any serious injury, but the mental anguish with having to deal with an encounter, that's what it's really all about. I have encountered her with my kids and it's upsetting for them."

But looking on the bright side, Currall said: "At least it shows that I was picking up my dog poo."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Danny Cipriani of England breaks clear to score his second try
Life and Style
New research says leaving your desk can help you to avoid serious illness
Arts and Entertainment
tvSPOILER ALERT: Like a mash-up of 28 Days Later, Braveheart, The Killing and Lord of the Rings, this GoT episode was a belter
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral