A woman who caused the death of a 77-year-old cyclist by gesticulating and shouting aggressively has been convicted of manslaughter, the BBC has reported. Footage from a street camera in Huntingdon, UK, shows a cyclist losing her balance as she passed a waving pedestrian on foot and was killed by a car.
The incident took place on October 20, 2020 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England. As can be seen in the recording from the street camera, the now 49-year-old Auriol Gray, seeing a cyclist coming from the opposite direction on the sidewalk, began shouting at her to “get off the f**k off the sidewalk”, and began aggressively gesticulating with her hand in her direction. As the women passed each other, 77-year-old Celia Ward, riding a bicycle, lost her balance and fell onto the road, directly in front of the wheels of an oncoming car. The cyclist died on the spot.
Auriol Gray was arrested the same day in her apartment and charged with manslaughter. Suffering from cerebral palsy and vision problems, the woman pleaded not guilty.
England. A cyclist died, a sentence for a pedestrian
After a trial on Thursday, March 2, a Peterborough court found the 49-year-old woman guilty of manslaughter and sentenced her to three years in prison. It was found that the pedestrian’s behavior was the direct cause of the cyclist’s fall. Gray’s lawyer said she would appeal the verdict.
The police were unable to “categorically” decide whether the pavement in this place also served as a bicycle path, but Judge Sean Enright ruled that two-wheelers could move on it. In justifying the verdict, Enright also stated that Gray was “possessive of the pavement” and “outraged” by the presence of the cyclist. “Her behavior cannot be excused with a disability,” the judge said. He added that the woman during the interrogation “did not present an honest version of events” and so far “has not expressed remorse”.
David Ward, the cyclist’s widower, made a statement before sentencing, quoted on the local police website. “After 53 years of happy marriage, Celia was taken from me in the most horrific way possible, leaving me with nothing but memories. She was kind, composed, attentive, cordial and competent in everything she did.
The victim’s daughter, quoted by the BBC, called her mother’s death “senseless and unnecessary”. The driver of the car that hit the 77-year-old said she “will always feel somewhat guilty” and that her life “turned upside down after the accident”. During the trial, the prosecutor’s office explained that the woman driving the car that hit Ward “had no chance to stop (the vehicle – ed.) or avoid the collision.”
BBC, Sky News, Cambridgeshire Police
Main photo source: cambs.police.uk