A road rage dentist who knocked out a pensioner’s teeth and broke his cheekbone with a single punch has been suspended from the profession for 12 months.

Shaun Edwards, 45, was spared jail after admitting the ‘appalling and terrifying’ attack on 67-year-old Albert Finney (corr).

The former Army major jumped out of his black BMW and warned the victim: ‘If you knew who I am…you wouldn’t tangle with me.’

Edwards, who runs the Sneyd Dental Practice in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffs, was handed four months in jail suspended for two years, when he appeared in court.

Lydia Barnfather, for the General Dental Council said Edwards clashed with Mr Finney during the morning rush hour on November 30, 2009, in Festival Park, Cobridge, Stoke.

Mr Finney, a cleaning contractor, was at the wheel of his red van when Edwards suddenly pulled out causing him to slam on the brakes.

Further down the road Edwards’ BMW ended up getting blocked by Mr Finney, who got out of his van ‘to explain’, said the solicitor.

Ms Barnfather said: ‘Mr Edwards got out of his vehicle and walked back to Mr Finney.

‘In an appalling and terrifying moment of loss of self-control, Mr Edwards attacked him.

‘His recollection was there was a headbutt and a punch.

‘He describes a punch with his right fist to the bottom of his left side jaw.

‘He felt his nose bleeding and put a hanky to his nose.’

The victim exclaimed: ‘Are you crazy?’ and the dentist replied: ‘If you knew who I am, what I’ve done and what I’ve been through, you wouldn’t tangle with me.’

Edwards was interviewed by police three days’ later, when he claimed he was defending himself against Mr Finney and only went for him with a ‘girlish swing’.

‘At this stage I think he is going to assault me, or trying and assault me again,’ he said.

‘I put my head down and swung at him in a non-accurate manner.’

In addition to the suspended sentence Edwards was ordered to carry out 220 hours’ unpaid work, pay £7,474 compensation to Mr Finney, and £1,200 costs.

The married father-of-two, who grew up in Cannock, Staffs, and qualified in Liverpool, choked back tears as he described the affair as a ‘terrible era’.

He said: ‘I totally overreacted.

‘The shame I’ve brought on myself, the practice, the profession, the remorse is almost overwhelming at times.

‘I’d like to apologise to Mr Finney if he was here.

‘If I can offer reassurance that it won’t happen again I’d like to do so now.

‘It is a very, very painful experience. I would not like to be here again.’

Panel chairman John Scott said: ‘The committee is satisfied that you have taken reasonable and appropriate steps to address your behaviour and you have shown a commitment to rehabilitation.’

Edwards admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on May 26, 2010.