We report a first principles study of the coupled evolution of energetic ions, background majority ions, electrons and electromagnetic fields in magnetised plasma during the linear phase of the lower hybrid drift instability. A particle-incell code, with one spatial and three velocity space co-ordinates, is used to analyse the evolving distribution of a drifting ring-beam population of energetic protons in physical space and gyrophase angle. This analysis is carried out for plasma parameters that approximate to edge conditions in large tokamaks, in a scenario that is motivated by observations of ion cyclotron emission and may be relevant to alpha channelling. Resonant energy transfer occurs at the two gyrophase angles at which the instantaneous speed of an energetic proton on its cyclotron orbit precisely matches the phase velocity of the lower hybrid wave along the simulation domain. Electron spacecharge oscillations determine the wavelength of the propagating lower hybrid wave, and thereby govern the spatial distribution of gyrobunching of the energetic protons that drive the instability.