A 21-year-old accused of hitting a cyclist after the cyclist gave him the fingers has had his assault charge upgraded.
Taupo dairy farmer Joseph Arthur Frederick Roberts, 21, appeared in the Taupo District Court today on a more serious charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Taupo cyclist Alasdair Slade.
Mr Slade, an Ironman competitor, was injured while out on a training ride on Broadlands Rd last Monday.
The cyclist was transferred from Rotorua to Waikato Hospital this morning and was in a stable condition.
Duty solicitor Steven Clarkson, representing Roberts, asked Judge Chris McGuire for interim name suppression and also to decline permission for media to take photographs in the court room, but Judge McGuire turned down both requests, saying there had already been significant media interest and that cyclist safety had been the subject of public comment, concern and debate for several years.
However he added that there was a need for fair and balanced reporting given the publicity that had already surrounded the case. Roberts did not enter a plea.
He was remanded on bail to reappear on March 13.