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Auriol Grey seeks leave to appeal against manslaughter sentence

Meanwhile full sentencing remarks in case of pedestrian convicted of causing death of cyclist Celia Ward have now been published

Auriol Grey, the pedestrian who was last week jailed for three years for manslaughter after causing 77-year-old cyclist Celia Ward to fall off her bike into the path of a car, has reportedly lodged an appeal against her sentence.

> Three years in jail for pedestrian convicted of manslaughter after cyclist’s death

The news comes as a leading legal journalist and author has published Judge Sean Enwright’s full sentencing remarks in the case, saying that “they deserve close attention.”

Grey, aged 49, was convicted by a jury in January, with the trial hearing that she had shouted at Mrs Ward, telling her to “get off the f*ck*ng pavement,” and gestured at her in an aggressive manner, causing the cyclist to fall off her bike and into the road.

> Remove conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, urge campaigners in wake of manslaughter case

After her sentencing, her legal team applied for her to be released on bail pending appeal, a request that the judge refused.

Now, Metro reports that a spokeswoman for the Criminal Appeal Court has confirmed that Grey’s application for leave to appeal against her sentence – as distinct from the jury’s verdict, which is not being challenged – has been lodged.

“As we have only just received this application we do not know when this case will be listed,” the spokeswoman said.

The sentence handed down to Grey has attracted a great deal of comment in the mainstream media, much of it sympathetic towards her due to the fact she has cerebral palsy and is partially sighted.

> “Ill-informed” Spectator writer under fire for coverage of manslaughter sentencing for pedestrian who caused cyclist’s death

While it was widely reported at the time of sentencing that the judge did not consider her disabilities to be relevant to her actions that caused Mrs Ward’s death, and that mental disorder was not a factor either, the judge’s full sentencing remarks, obtained from the judicial press office by the legal writer and commentator Joshua Rozenberg, do shed more light on the reasons the judge handed down the three-year prison sentence.

Rozenberg, a qualified solicitor and honorary King’s Counsel and whose long-running media career includes past roles as legal correspondent at the BBC and the Daily Telegraph’s legal affairs editor, published the judge’s sentencing remarks on Substack, having obtained them from the judicial press office.

“As far as I know, they have not previously been published in full,” Rozenberg wrote. “They deserve close attention,” he added – something we at would also encourage, since they provide the fullest possible picture of why the judge imposed the sentence he did. Here they are:

You have been convicted of manslaughter after a re-trial. You gave no evidence at trial one or two. In broad terms, the issue at trial was whether what took place might have been an accident, self-defence or unlawful violence. You were convicted unanimously by the jury.

Most of what took place was captured on camera footage. You were walking on the pavement. You resented the presence of an oncoming cyclist. The footage shows you shouting aggressively and waving your left arm. You do not stop, slow down or move to one side. You are territorial about the pavement and not worried for your own safety. After careful thought, I concluded these actions are not explained by your disabilities.

The court heard evidence from a number of witnesses, and I found William Walker to be reliable and thoughtful. He is a cyclist and driver. He said that you and Mrs Ward appeared to have come to a halt in front of each other and you made a lateral sweeping movement with your left arm which was directed at Mrs Ward. He said “it either made contact or she recoiled and fell”.  She  fell into the busy ring road where she was killed by a passing car driven by Carla Money.

This was, I think, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians that allowed them to go around the busy ring road. The vital point is this: I am sure you knew cyclists used that path and you were not taken by surprise or in fear for your safety. The path at the point of collision 2.4 metres wide.

I have considered the evidence about eyesight and the CCTV footage and visual impairment was not a factor in this incident.

You and Mrs Ward both welcomed the safety of the pavement. She because she was an elderly cyclist and you because of your disabilities. Consideration for other road users is the lesson of this tragic case. We are all road users, whether as motorists, cyclists or on foot.

The judge also set out the basis on which he had determined the length of the sentence handed down, based on the guidelines from the Sentencing Council relating to unlawful act manslaughter, and the representations made by both the defence and the prosecution. He told Grey:

A starting point of four years seems just, based on my finding that the sweep of your arm was an intentional act but being reckless as to whether harm would be caused.

The judge also set out what he saw as the aggravating and mitigating factors in the case, with the former potentially increasing the sentence to be imposed from its starting point, and the latter reducing it.

Aggravating factors

The vulnerability of Mrs Ward who was on a bike.

The effect on Mrs Carla Money …  [the driver of the car that struck Mrs Ward, and who made a statement to the court in which she spoke of the effect of the fatal crash on her] … Her enduring distress is entirely foreseeable.

Matters reducing seriousness and personal mitigation

You offered assistance at the scene, but you were turned away by others.  But, on the other hand,  you then left before police arrived and  went off to do shopping. You were evasive when police traced you and told lies in interview.

You have no convictions or cautions or reprimands. You are 49 years old. This stands to your credit.

Your medical history and significant disabilities would have crushed many but you have endured all that in a commendable way. Until now have demonstrated a  positive lifestyle and I have no doubt that over the years you have endured all kinds of difficulties when going around the town centre which may have made you angry on this occasion. In any event, your prior good character stands to your credit.

Is there a mental disorder bearing on these issues? I do not think so.

As to learning difficulties, there are none. Much was made  in cross examination of what witnesses referred to as a  “childlike face”. In fact you went to a mainstream school and denied in interview having any impairment of intellect. That is not decisive, in my view and I put it to one side. Both experts suggested that the childhood surgery resulted in “a degree of cognitive impairment”.  (In my view, these difficulties do not bear on your understanding of what is right and wrong and what is appropriate or not). I should say that I saw the video your police interviews, I read the character statements detailing your lifestyle. I have also read the  pre-sentence report and medical evidence and have learned as much about you as I can.

Remorse. There has not been a word about remorse from you until the pre-sentence report was prepared, and here there is a reference to remorse which has never been passed on to the Ward family. In this regard I accept your counsel’s explanation that this may be a function of your disabilities and do not hold it against you.

There has been a delay in getting this case to trial. This is a mitigating factor I must take into account in your favour.

I also take into account the particular difficulties, occasioned by your disabilities, that you will face in prison and when you emerge.

Balancing all these considerations, the proper sentence is three years imprisonment.

Rozenberg has also shared, on Scribd, the directions of law that the judge provided to the jury before its members retired to consider the case.

As with the sentencing remarks, the directions, which set out the relevant issues of law and also map out the route to the jury’s verdict, whether that be guilty or not guilty, were obtained via the judicial press office, which had been sent them by Judge Enright.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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