Branxton man pleads guilty to road rage incident at Sandgate

GUILTY: Shane Edward Nicholson, 47, left, leaving court on Thursday with his solicitor, Mansell Laidler. Picture: Peter Lorimer
GUILTY: Shane Edward Nicholson, 47, left, leaving court on Thursday with his solicitor, Mansell Laidler. Picture: Peter Lorimer

SHANE Edward Nicholson simply “lost it” when he rammed a teenager’s new Toyota in a road rage incident at Sandgate that was shared around the world.

Nicholson, 47, of Sutton Grove, Branxton, pleaded guilty in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday to a range of charges after the August 19 incident on Maitland Road, in which another driver was deliberately rammed and the footage uploaded to social media.

Agreed facts tendered to court said Nicholson appeared to become “enraged” when the P-plate driver of a Toyota FJ Cruiser, which was only purchased the week before, slowed down in a 60km/h roadworks speed limit zone.

Nicholson was travelling “very closely” to the victim before he changed lanes to be alongside the other car.

“The accused then proceeded to scream at the victim and signal him to pull over,” the facts said. 

When the 19-year-old refused, Nicholson persisted, changing lanes to accelerate behind the victim before braking harshly. 

The victim became nervous, the facts said, before Nicholson changed lanes again and demanded he pull over.

Again, the other driver refused.

As both cars approached Old Maitland Road, the 47-year-old pulled his four-wheel drive close to the other driver’s car.

He rammed it, causing both vehicles to bounce off one another.

Nicholson then sped off and made no attempt to exchange details.

According to the facts, the teenage victim was “shocked”, having only purchased the car a week before the collision after working 60 hours a week. 

Witnesses who were travelling behind the two motorists captured the incident on a dashcam.

The video was widely shared on social media after it was uploaded by Dash Cam Owners Australia.

Nicholson attended Singleton police station two days later and supplied a version of events where he said he “lost it”.

He declined to comment when police asked further questions.

Nicholson will appear in Maitland Local Court on October 18 for sentencing.