EXCLUSIVE: Mother of pedestrian who was jailed for waving at a cyclist to get off the pavement before she was hit by a car reveals how her daughter has ‘struggled’ after suffering brain damage at birth
- Auriol Grey, 49, caused the death of elderly cyclist Celia Ward in October 2020
- She was jailed for manslaughter last week at Peterborough Crown Court
- Her mother Verna Grey now says she is estranged from her disabled daughter
The elderly mother of a disabled pedestrian jailed for causing the death of a cyclist in a clash over riding on the pavement has spoken of her ‘struggling’ daughter who was ‘hugely brain damaged at birth’.
Verna Grey says she is now estranged from her daughter Auriol, 49, who was sentenced to three years for telling Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the f***ing pavement, shooing her onto the road and into oncoming traffic.
‘I’ve spent all my money on Auriol trying to get her better,’ Vera told MailOnline. ‘She was hugely brain damaged at birth in the hospital.
‘She has been finding it very difficult to cope, she has really been struggling but more recently she seemed to be coping alright.’
Verna, from Sudbury, Suffolk, declined to discuss her daughter’s conviction and three-year jail sentence for manslaughter, saying: ‘I don’t know anything about the case.’
Auriol celebrated The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June last year – wearing a lilac cardigan in MailOnline’s exclusive photo
Auriol Grey (pictured), who is partially blind and has a club foot and walks with a supportive splint on her right leg, suffered brain damage at birth, according to her mother
She has been jailed for causing the death of an elderly cyclist after gesturing and swearing at her
Auriol, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was ‘devastated’ by her jail term and was expecting a suspended sentence.
READ MORE: ‘Childlike’ disabled woman jailed for waving pavement cyclist into car was ‘bullied’ throughout her life and will be taunted and abused by prison inmates
Auriol, who is appealing her sentence, is partially blind and suffers with cerebral palsy affecting her mobility and co-ordination.
Verna, whose elder daughter Genny Luxmoore died two years ago from ovarian cancer, said she was sometimes in contact with her youngest daughter.
Mrs Luxmoore was a married mother-of-two who rarely had any contact with her sibling – seven years her junior – before her death.
Her late husband declined to discuss his sister-in-law when approached by MailOnline at their smart £2.5million family home in Chiswick, west London.
Mrs Luxmoore was a trustee of Small Steps, a charity supporting young children with physical difficulties.
Small Steps teaches parents of children with cerebral palsy and other forms of motor and sensory impairment to help their child maximise their independence.
Mrs Luxmoore’s sister Auriol had gestured at grandmother Ward, 77, and told her to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’ moments before she fell off her cycle and into road where she was killed by an oncoming car.
Auriol, 49, gestured in a ‘hostile and aggressive’ way to Celia Ward (right), 77, whom she told to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’ as she cycled towards her in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, in October 2020
The tragic accident happened as the retired midwife was riding her bike on a path in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on October 20, 2020.
Auriol pleaded not guilty to manslaughter but in a re-trial – after the first jury failed to reach a verdict – she was found guilty.
She was jailed at Peterborough Crown Court last week – to the fury of her friends, neighbours and some campaigners and disability welfare groups.
The sentence has divided public opinion across the country with some MailOnline readers branding it ‘crazy’ and saying: ‘No sentence should have been handed out’.
Meanwhile others agreed it was justice, with one saying: ‘She showed very aggressive behaviour resulting in a needless death.’
READ MORE: Neighbours reveal how ‘childlike’ disabled woman jailed for waving cyclist into path of car had just one friend
One of Auriol’s neighbours today described her as ‘an absolute darling,’ saying: ‘She doesn’t deserve this.’
Carrie Tooke, 51, an executive assistant told MailOnline, said: ‘I cannot believe that someone as delightful as she is can be treated like this.
‘It is very, very cruel.’
Ms Tooke, who lives upstairs from Auriol in a block of flats, said: ‘We’ve all lost sleep over what has happened to her.
‘I’ve been her neighbour for five years, and she is ever so sweet and kind.
‘She is properly disabled, and it was a really horrible, tragic accident but it was not Auriol’s fault.
‘The way the police and courts have treated her, charging her with manslaughter and finding her guilty, is an absolute disgrace.’
Her close friend, who spoke by phone to Auriol yesterday, said: ‘She is in an infirmary ward in Peterborough Prison but is in a holding place until they allocate her a suitable jail to carry out her sentence.
‘She said she is being well looked after and was happy she had had her hair done.
‘She said inmates with her are mainly bed ridden, at least she is walking.
‘But she has been told she is being moved, it is a temporary place, and she is worried about bullying when that happens.
‘Women inmates can be very cruel to one another, and she has been bullied all her life because of her disability.’
Grey apparently lived at Hunstanton Hall as a child – a moated country house in Norfolk, former ancestral home of the eminent Le Strange family – in the West Wing with her wealthy parents and elder sister
Auriol Grey’s home in a quiet close in Huntingdon town centre, Cambridgeshire, run by Papworth Trust, where she lived alone in a rented one-bed ground floor flat with a red-brick facade where she has been for 17 years
The friend, who had supported her during her trial, said she fears she will be taunted and abused by fellow inmates.
He told how Auriol, who has a club foot and walks with a supportive splint on her right leg, has grown up being the target of cruel jibes with even callous passers-by on the street laughing at her, cursing her and calling her a ‘spastic.’
He said: ‘She is a good person, a lovely person and is very remorseful for what happened but because of her disability people are not very nice to her. They are horrible.’
‘Child-like’ Grey lived a ‘lonely’ and ‘solitary’ life and had never married nor is known to have had a partner.
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