A pedestrian convicted of manslaughter after shouting at a cyclist who then fell into the path of an oncoming car has been jailed for three years.
Auriol Grey, 49, was caught on CCTV angrily gesturing towards the road as retired midwife Celia Ward, 77, approached, telling her to ‘get off the f**king pavement’.
Seconds later she lost her balance and fell into the road where she was struck by a VW Passat that was unable to stop. She was declared dead at the scene a short while later.
Grey, who has cerebral palsy, denied manslaughter but was found guilty following an earlier retrial at Peterborough Crown Court.
Judge Sean Enright, sentencing Grey to three years in prison, said ‘these actions are not explained by disability’.
Prosecutor Simon Spence KC told jurors Grey gestured in a hostile and aggressive way as the two headed in opposite directions on the pavement of the ring road in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
In her police interview, Grey told officers she was partially sighted and described the bicycle as travelling fast in the centre of the pavement.
She said she was ‘anxious that I was going to get hit by it’, adding she ‘may have unintentionally put’ out her hand to protect herself.
It is illegal to cycle on the pavement, but the court heard police were unable to ‘categorically’ confirm whether the pavement was a shared cycleway.
Mr Dollard said: ‘This is a difficult and tragic case.
‘Everyone will have their own views on cyclists, pavements and cycleways but what is clear is Auriol Grey’s response to the presence of Celia on a pedal cycle was totally disproportionate and ultimately found to be unlawful, resulting in Celia’s untimely and needless death.
‘I am pleased with the verdict and hope it is a stark reminder to all road users to take care and be considerate to each other.’
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