The West

"Brutal, unrestrained" road rage was becoming a bigger problem and could cause even normally placid and gentle people to lose their temper, a Perth court was told yesterday.

The comments, from a prosecutor and judge, came as a middle-aged man admitted to the road rage attack that left a Perth doctor unconscious and bleeding beside Kwinana Freeway in November 2011.

Robert Wilson Shepherd, 54, initially fought the charge in the District Court, arguing he acted in self- defence and did not start the clash.

But he changed his plea to guilty after the jury heard two witnesses describe seeing the victim repeatedly kicked and punched while on the ground.

Prosecutor Joel Grinceri said general practitioner Ali Hussain, 63, was driving in the freeway's right lane a little slower than the 100km/h limit when a car behind him flashed its lights to get past.

The doctor moved left but, as the vehicle passed him, a car driven by Shepherd squeezed between them and clipped Dr Hussain's vehicle.

Dr Hussain testified that he put his hazard lights on and drove next to Shepherd, gesturing for him to stop to exchange details.

Once stopped, the "nicely dressed" man swore at him and raised his hand before the GP lost consciousness.

The court was told Dr Hussain suffered a fractured nose and cheekbone and damaged teeth.

Defence lawyer Terry Dobson, who spoke to his client before the plea changed, had argued Shepherd did not know of the collision and had been in fear of Dr Hussain.

Mr Grinceri had told the jury the case was about a "brutal unrestrained incident of road rage".

He suggested such rage could cause placid and gentle people to change personality and lose their temper "at the drop of a hat" though most people calmed down quickly.

After Shepherd's guilty plea, Judge Simon Stone described the attack as vicious.

He noted that road rage was becoming more prevalent and needed to be deterred.

He refused Shepherd's bid for bail, warning him that he faced jail when sentenced on March 13.

The West Australian

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