A German backpacker who was left paralysed when he was knocked off his bike by a car last year has told a Geraldton court about waking up and thinking everything was fine, but then realising he couldn’t feel his body. Paul Stuart Meadowcroft is on trial in Geraldton’s District Court after being charged with intentionally endangering the life, health or safety of Steve Zimmermann. Defence counsel George Giudice told the court Mr Meadowcroft, 51, admits he was behind the wheel when his car collided with Mr Zimmermann’s bicycle about 1.25pm on April 1, 2021, and that the cyclist sustained bodily harm during the incident. Mr Meadowcroft pleaded guilty to failing to stop and render assistance after an incident involving grievous bodily harm, and failing to report a traffic accident causing bodily harm. But Mr Giudice said Mr Meadowcroft claims he had no intention of hurting Mr Zimmermann. Instead, Mr Meadowcroft claimed he had turned around and approached Mr Zimmermann with the intention of asking the cyclist “what his problem was”. When he realised he may have collided with the man, Mr Meadowcroft “panicked” and left the scene. Mr Giudice said when Mr Meadowcroft was arrested he told police: “I have been s…ing myself since it happened… it was an accident.” Now 32, Mr Zimmermann’s wheelchair had to be lifted into the witness box when he presented evidence on Tuesday, with the man having visible difficulty lifting a cup of water to his mouth due to his injuries. The court heard Mr Zimmermann was cycling home after working a shift at a crayfish factory when he turned onto Bayly Street sometime before 1.25pm. At the intersection with George Street, Mr Zimmermann said he stopped on the footpath when he spotted a white utility approaching from his left. When the vehicle stopped, Mr Zimmermann started to cross the road in front of the car to continue straight onto Bayly Street. But he said the driver of the vehicle suddenly moved forward and “interrupted” his path. In frustration, he gave the car the finger and cursed in German at the driver – whom he could not see through the car window. Mr Giudice asked Mr Zimmermann to demonstrate to the court how he had gestured to the driver of the car, but the man said his injuries made this motion impossible. “It is not possible anymore,” he said. Mr Zimmermann showed his middle finger to the driver twice more as the car passed the cyclist. He said he then saw the car make a U-turn near Quarry Street. He said he saw the same car that “interrupted” him at the roundabout drive in his direction before crossing the carriageway to the wrong side of the road and mounting the curb. The next thing he said he remembers is lying on the ground and being asked if he needed assistance from another man. “I thought everything was fine… Then I realised I couldn’t feel my body at all, “he said. He was conveyed to Geraldton Health Campus before undergoing emergency spinal surgery at Royal Perth Hospital. The court was told Mr Zimmermann suffered a fractured C6 and C7 vertebrae in his neck, damage to his spine, internal injuries, and partial paralysis below the neck. He was left a tetraplegic. The trial continues.