The director of the Tuggeranong Hairhouse Warehouse reached into a woman's car and grabbed her face "like a vice" before breaking her glasses in a bizarre road rage incident.
Deon James Gibbons, 40, was en route to the Kippax McDonald's for a Friday night feed in December 2019 when a public servant, driving home from work, flipped him the bird.
During a subsequent hearing in the ACT Magistrates Court, the woman described making the "impolite" gesture because Gibbons had been tailgating her on Drake-Brockman Drive.
She said Gibbons had responded by driving past her into Macnaughton Street, in Higgins, before stopping his car and standing in the middle of the road to block her path.
The woman told the court Gibbons, wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word "king", then approached her Suzuki Swift and reached in through her open driver's side window.
"He grabbed my face forcibly ... like a vice," she said during the hearing in April.
"It was like he was trying to hurt me as much as he could."
The victim added that Gibbons had "slammed" her head against the headrest, pulled her glasses off and said: "Not so tough now, are you, you f---ing slut?"
She said he had then thrown the prescription sunglasses onto the road, breaking them.
Gibbons drove away after this, the woman told the court, but she said he stopped again in Starke Street and stood on the road "with a kind of come-at-me gesture".
As Gibbons struck a pose with both thumbs up, the victim snapped a photo of him with his car number plate visible in the background.
The woman took this to police, along with evidence of the broken glasses and "red blemishes" on her face.
Gibbons was charged with common assault, property damage and behaving in an insulting manner in a public place.
The 40-year-old pleaded not guilty, admitting there had been an incident but denying he had come close enough to even talk to the woman after getting out of his car.
MORE COURT AND CRIME NEWS:
- Homeless woman's dog allegedly an offensive weapon
- 'Roughhousing' claim rejected as man jailed for abusing stepdaughter
- 'Self-interested' woman blames cold weather, big dog for bail breach
- 'Video game' world comes crashing down as crypto fraudster jailed
- Teen to face court for allegedly stealing from 15 unlocked cars
Special magistrate Jane Campbell, who rejected Gibbons' account, described his evidence as "implausible" as she found him guilty of all three offences.
She said his version was that the woman was following him and he only stopped to ask her why, which did not stack up when he also claimed he never even spoke to her.
On the other hand, Ms Campbell found the victim to be credible and "an extremely impressive witness".
Gibbons, a Macgregor resident, appealed against the guilty verdicts on four grounds in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday.
His barrister, Jason Moffett, highlighted a passage of Ms Campbell's reasons, in which the special magistrate said: "There was nothing in [Gibbons'] evidence to suggest that he was not telling the truth. However, I do find his account was not a plausible account."
Among his arguments in favour of acquittals, Mr Moffett said Gibbons' account could not be implausible if the 40-year-old had told the truth.
But prosecutor Katie McCann countered that Mr Moffett was overstating the significance of that comment, saying it was possible to give an implausible account in a convincing way.
She urged Justice David Mossop to dismiss the appeal.
The judge did just that, uncovering no errors and saying the findings made by Ms Campbell had been open to her on the evidence.
He said either Gibbons or the other driver had to be lying about what happened, and there was nothing wrong with the process Ms Campbell took to accept the woman's evidence and reject the tale told by Gibbons.
Gibbons, who remains on bail, is expected to be sentenced next week.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: