A LORRY driver, who mowed down a granddad after being incensed with road rage, has been found guilty of murder.
There were tears and gasps in court as the jury returned their verdict following a week-long trial.
Chester Crown Court heard Oldham man Mark Slater wielded his 17-tonne truck as a weapon and ploughed into 56-year-old Trevor Allen in February this year.
The brutality of the incident on the A57 in Warrington shocked many as witnesses described Mr Allen's body and head being crushed by the wheels of Slater's vehicle causing multiple injuries and an instantaneous death.
But it was not the first time the experienced HGV driver had lost his temper behind the wheel.
The court was shown footage of the 47-year-old sprinting towards a car in December last year in Oldham before kicking the front of the vehicle after being in the wrong lane and blocked from joining a queue of traffic.
He was described as 'almost animal-like' during the incident after being followed by motorist Jordan Ogden for around 40 minutes and said his actions getting out of his wagon were borne out of frustration.
Another motorist claimed he was threatened with a Stanley knife on the M62 by Slater and said he was like a 'raging bull' after his lorry had forced the motorist into the near side lane.
He denied having a weapon and also claimed he had been assaulted after the incident in Oldham.
Earlier in the hearing, Slater said events involving Mr Allen began with a Citroen car flashing his lights and beeping his horn before what Slater described as an 'overtaking session'.
He told the jury Mr Allen had thrown coins at his car but denied chasing the Citroen at speeds of 54mph and said instead he was trying to read Mr Allen's registration plate.
Slater said he performed an emergency stop and waved at Mr Allen to 'pack it in' before he was overtaken again and then attempted to pull around Mr Allen's Citroen.
He claimed he only saw the top of Mr Allen's head and did not feel or hear anything as witnesses described Mr Allen standing in front of Slater's HGV before slipping under the wheel.
Slater said he only stopped after sensing something was wrong when two men in a van started waving at him.
The jury also heard an incredibly calm 999 call from Slater describing what had happened.
Ian Unsworth, prosecuting, questioned him how he knew when he had earlier claimed to be unaware he had hit anyone.
Slater told the jury 'it did not take a rocket scientist to realise he had hit him' once he had got out of his truck and one of the witnesses had told him he had killed a man.
He was also quizzed over why he did not go to help Mr Allen but he claimed he was told by a witness to stay back.
Throughout the case, Slater repeatedly denied deliberately hitting Mr Allen and said he had done 'absolutely nothing' that could have incited the incident.
The prosecution called him a 'hot head, bully and a liar' who had 'lost it' while defence said he was not 'an emotional man' and had maintained his account throughout.
The jury decided unanimously to agree with the prosecution to the sound of gasps and cheers from Mr Allen's family.
Slater will be sentenced either tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning