A DRINK driver who harassed a group of motorcyclists and knocked one off his bike, causing him serious and long-term injuries, has been jailed – but escaped immediate custody.

Clifford Fix, 68, ran one motorcyclist off the road during the incident, which occurred near Llanfyllin on October 10, last year.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard this week that Fix mistakenly believed the group of bikers were part of a larger group that had previously harassed him and his wife.

A harrowing victim impact statement from Mr Cappelow – who Fix had hit with his Ford Mondeo – revealed how he had suffered swelling on the brain as a result of the incident, as well as severe memory loss.

Fix, of Bron Haul, Bwlch-y-Ddar, near Llangedwyn, was jailed for six months by magistrates on Tuesday, June 21, but they suspended the sentence for 12 months.

The defendant had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving and one of drink driving. The reading of alcohol provided by Fix was 69 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said Mr Cappelow, from Stockport, and his friends had been touring mid and north Wales in October 2021.

“On October 10 at around 2pm the victim noticed a Mondeo in the middle of the road, he said it almost hit one colleague,” said Ms Tench.

“It also nearly hit him, the driver gave less than two metres as he passed, he then almost hit others behind him. Minutes later the car came back and bumped his back tyre, he was shocked but thought it was an accident.

“He then describes the Mondeo deliberately driving into his right side, hitting his leg. He had to pull it away to stop himself going under the car. He had to push himself off the wing mirror as he feared going under the wheel of the car.

“He was forced onto the grass embankment, eventually somersaulting over his handlebars and landing in some ferns."

After the incident, one of the motorcyclists eventually took the keys off the defendant, who smelled of alcohol.

When challenged, Fix referred to an incident from two years prior, before telling newly-arrived police officers: "I'm the culprit."

In the victim impact statement, Mr Cappelow spoke about the “dramatic” impact the incident had made on his life.

“I thought I was going to have to fight for my life,” said the father of three.

“I had problems breathing when I got home. A scan showed cracked ribs. But the real nightmare started the next morning. I was in pain. I had a week off work but when I went back to work I was confused.

“My speech was slurred, my mind was confused, I thought this was due to the medication. I was sent to A&E as they thought I might have had bleed on brain. The next day I went missing for a full day as I lost track of where I was when I went for walk. I have since been told I was probably suffering swelling on the brain.

“I still forget things, I can’t carry out a normal life. I don’t know when I’ll be able to recover from this.

“I have been advised not to drive. I’ve had to borrow money and use savings just to live. My wife has since lost her job due to having had time off because she’s had to drive me to appointments and look after our children.”

Representing Fix, Sion ap Mihangel described his client as a “broken man”, who had descended into a life of alcoholism following the death of his wife – who had died since this incident occurred.

“He is a man of hitherto good character,” said Mr ap Mihangel.

“His perception at the time was that these individuals were part of a larger group causing nuisance to him and wife. He had confronted a group and been pushed to the floor two years earlier, this is the background.”

Mr ap Mihangel described his client – an American citizen who had lived in the UK for 30 years – as an intelligent individual who moved from the US to work for Motorola.

“He was married for 37 years, at the time his wife was at the later stages of breast cancer. The night he was arrested was the night she went into care. She has since died.

“He doesn’t have much hope in life. It is a very sad state of affairs. He is a broken individual.”

“You turned around and followed the motorcyclists, showing a complete disregard for other road users,” said chair of the bench, Nerys Jones.

“This was aggravated by being under the influence of alcohol.”

For the dangerous driving they ordered Fix to serve six months in prison, with eight weeks to be served concurrently for the drink drive charge. This was suspended for a year.

They also banned Fix from driving for 24 months for dangerous driving, with another 22 months added on for drink driving – though this is to also be served concurrently.

He must also pay a £128 surcharge and £85 costs.