A CYCLIST studying at Oxford University hit a researcher over the head with a bike lock during a violent argument, a jury heard yesterday.

Luke Wilmshurst, of Banbury Road, Oxford, was a masters student at the time and denies causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage on June 15 last year.

Gabrielle McAvock, prosecuting, said the 41-year-old struck biochemist Sapan Ghandi over the head with a metal D-lock, which left him needing staples to a 3cm wound at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

She told a jury at Oxford Crown Court the argument between them started because of a “near collision” between Wilmshurst’s mountain bike and Mr Ghandi’s Vauxhall car.

The barrister said at the time Mr Ghandi and his wife, who was four months pregnant, were leaving the biochemistry department and driving slowly towards Parks Road.

Giving evidence from the witness box Mr Ghandi said he stopped his car after Wilmshurst’s bike rode past at speed, travelling in the opposite direction.

He told the jury: “I turned to him with two hands up. It was like, ‘what are you doing, going so fast on the wrong side of the road?’” Mr Ghandi said Wilmshurst put his middle finger up at him, then came round to his driver's door and punched him in the side of the face.

Miss McAvock said: “The defendant, it is alleged, hit Mr Ghandi and (the complainant) then chased the defendant.

“It is also alleged that the defendant broke a windscreen wiper off Mr Ghandi’s car. Mr Ghandi, as a result of being assaulted, then picked up the defendant’s bike and told him he would hold it until security turned up.

“The defendant told Mr Ghandi if he did not return his bike he would cause further damage to his car.

“Mr Ghandi put the bike down and the two men then started fighting.

“Both men’s spectacles were damaged during the fight. The defendant hit Mr Ghandi on the head with his black D-lock, causing injury to him.

“He felt dizzy as a result and he was bleeding from the head.”

Mr Ghandi was asked by defence barrister Daniel Lister if he “lost control” after being punched and attacked by his client.

The complainant disagreed and said the reason he chased Wilmshurst was because he thought: “You are not getting away with this.”

Mr Ghandi said: “I was trying to stop him from running away from the scene, which he eventually did.”

Wilmshurst denies causing criminal damage to Mr Ghandi’s glasses, watch and windscreen wiper.

The trial continues.