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Driver who knocked ex-London cycling czar Andrew Gilligan off bike sentenced

Chukwudi Uzorh admitted dangerous driving, but prosecutors dropped assault charge

A motorist who knocked London’s former cycling czar, Andrew Gilligan, off his bike has been sentenced to a 12-month community order including 120 hours of unpaid work after admitting dangerous driving.

Chukwudi Uzorh, 31, from Camden, had also been initially charged with assault in connection with the incident on Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street Station on 4 April 2018.

However, that charge was dropped by the prosecution last month after they accepted his explanation that he had not hit Mr Gilligan on purpose, reports the London Evening Standard.

Gilligan, who worked as London’s cycling commissioner when Boris Johnson was mayor and is now transport advisor to Number 10 Downing Street, had been cycling to Devonshire Square off Bishopsgate when the incident happened.

John Traversi, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing the necessary flashing lights. As he was riding along Bishopsgate, he reached the junction with Liverpool Street and the car in front of him stopped suddenly at a red light. His bike collided with the back of the vehicle driven by the defendant.”

Gilligan approached the driver, but as a result of what was described as the motorist’s “ill-tempered tone … he decided his best interests were served by riding away,” Mr Traversi continued.

“But after 10 metres or so he felt something hit the back of his bicycle, bringing him to the ground.”

Uzorh, a jewellery maker based in Hatton Garden, drove off, but a passer-by chased after him and the driver, who claimed he had “panicked,” stopped in a street close by.

“He said he had been speaking on the telephone, hands-free, to his girlfriend,” Mr Traversi added.

“He was also looking at the SatNav to find a convenient location to meet her.”

Uzorh told police he “panicked” after the crash, but came to his senses shortly after driving away.

At the time of the incident, Gilligan said that he believed that Uzorh “was not intending to do my health any good.”

He said: “He looked rather threatening so I thought I should cycle off. He revved up and went straight into the back of me.

“I was knocked off my bike and lying on the ground, bleeding. I could see him racing away. Police were on the scene very quickly and arrested the guy.”

Gilligan added: “I have tyre marks on my shoes. It could have been so much worse. I am very, very shaken — I was very close to being paralysed.”

Simon joined road.cc 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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28 comments

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wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
3 likes

“He was also looking at the SatNav to find a convenient location to meet her.”

which it seems he was unable to do before setting off from the lights, and alo bearing in mind he was a whole 1.5miles away from his workplace, so hardly a stranger to the area.

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Sniffer replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
18 likes

Driver convicted of dangerous driving.

Nigel is back at the deflection tactic. Very poor form.

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Rendel Harris replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
10 likes
Nigel Garage wrote:

According to the report, loud, rapturous, applause broke out as members revealed their opposition

Wow, a bunch of Tories applauded another Tory at a Tory conference fringe meeting! I'm sold, don't know why we bother holding an election.

Seriously, I very much hope the next Tory candidate does run on such an anti-LTN policy, because by then they will be even more popular so you'll crash and burn even more spectacularly than you did last time out. Latest poll, as quoted in your link, 47% of Londoners support LTNs, 28% no opinion either way, 8% don't know, 17% opposed. 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
9 likes

Tories running on the basis of opposing Tory Central Government plans, announced at the tory conference and cheered by tories. 

And if I remember, Bailey lost with pretty much the same figures as Boris Johnsons Travel Agent did in the last Mayoral election. (1.5% increase in second round voting). So it would be good to know if it was such a popular subject, why it wasn't converted into more then 1.5%. 

Also what has LTN's got to do with someone being knocked off their bike? I suppose it is more violence that Boo supports on Cyclists, like beating them up for trespass or being punched by a retired professional boxer. "That will teach you Andrew for putting in cycle lanes or supporting LTN's"

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AidanR replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
8 likes

Yawn. It's been shown that the new LTNs in London are more often in deprived areas than rich ones. https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/mar/02/low-traffic...

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to AidanR | 2 years ago
13 likes

He is also boasting about living in a newly built housing estate on a cul de sac where his kids can play in a street. Talk about following the Priti Patel school of pulling the ladder up behind them. My kids can do this, yours can't. 

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Steve K replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
1 like
Nigeǀ Garage wrote:

Sigh, someone stated that the traffic would doubtlessly have increased since the house was built - I was simply stating (i.e. not boasting) that wouldn't be the case as I live in a relatively new housing estate. In fact, I generally rate older houses as much better and sturdy, but unfortunately you have to cut your cloth according to what you can afford.

Unless your house was built in 2019, traffic would have increased since it was built (until last year) because prior to the pandemic traffic rates were rising year on year.

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wycombewheeler replied to Steve K | 2 years ago
1 like
Steve K wrote:
Nigeǀ Garage wrote:

Sigh, someone stated that the traffic would doubtlessly have increased since the house was built - I was simply stating (i.e. not boasting) that wouldn't be the case as I live in a relatively new housing estate. In fact, I generally rate older houses as much better and sturdy, but unfortunately you have to cut your cloth according to what you can afford.

Unless your house was built in 2019, traffic would have increased since it was built (until last year) because prior to the pandemic traffic rates were rising year on year.

if it was built in 2019 it wouldn't be cheaper than an old house, so his claim of cutting cloth would be nonsense. New builds always sell at a premium.

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TriTaxMan replied to Lance ꜱtrongarm | 2 years ago
1 like
Nigeǀ Garage wrote:

Now according to OnLondon (https://www.onlondon.co.uk/senior-london-tory-says-johnson-transport-aid...) Conservatives have correctly identified the issue and are looking to run on a platform of overturning these LTNs and returning sanity to London’s roads.

Have you seen the gridlock in one of the removed LTN's in Ealing.  If that's what you mean by returning sanity to London's roads you really need to give your head a wobble.

Not only that the council are asking more people to use active travel....... 

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0-0 | 2 years ago
0 likes

"Uzorh, a jewellery maker based in Hatton Garden".

Cut off his balls and turn them into earrings 😁

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open_roads | 2 years ago
10 likes

I've used this analogy before but an incident in which someone intentionally hits a stranger with a 20kg metal hammer and knocks them over would be charged as assault and sentenced as such.

By contrast we have the ludicrous situation where someone can hit a stranger with a 2000kg metal car and knock them over only to be given a flick on the wrist by way of punishment.

One can only wonder how MPs would react if they were routinely hit with hammers by strangers but it's fair to say they would probably be more minded to ensure the law enabled successful prosecutions than they seem to be for the equivalent car / bike assaults.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to open_roads | 2 years ago
2 likes

I was surprised that assault was actually considered really. Seems that deliberately driving into someone, even when admitted to doesn't normally get assault charges.

I guess that as with this case, proving it was intent and not just not concentrating carelessness is the burden. So for your analogy, if someone was intentionally hits someone it is rightly assault. However if they were using it to hammer something in and didn't look around before lifting the backswing, hitting a passerby, would that be assault? (Of course in this case it is very suspicious it happened straight after a confrontation but the accused stated he was on the phone and looking at the satt nav whilst driving to a place and hit the cyclist, and burden of guilt is on Prosecution).

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EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
8 likes

An absolute joke as usual. How the hell is that not assault?

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Ramz | 2 years ago
12 likes
Quote:

John Traversi, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing the necessary flashing lights"

What necessary lights????

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mdavidford replied to Ramz | 2 years ago
6 likes
Ramz wrote:
Quote:

John Traversi, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing the necessary flashing lights"

What necessary lights????

From the E'en Stannah's report 13th Apr 2018:

Quote:

The incident occurred last Wednesday evening

So presumably after dark, meaning he would have been required to be running lights. Strictly speaking, though, if he was wearing them, they wouldn't actually have met the legal requirements...

And of course, not having them wouldn't have been any excuse for running him over.

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eburtthebike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like
mdavidford wrote:

So presumably after dark, meaning he would have been required to be running lights. Strictly speaking, though, if he was wearing them, they wouldn't actually have met the legal requirements...

Wearing them is not illegal, and it doesn't say that he didn't also have legal, bicycle mounted lights.

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mdavidford replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes
eburtthebike wrote:
mdavidford wrote:

So presumably after dark, meaning he would have been required to be running lights. Strictly speaking, though, if he was wearing them, they wouldn't actually have met the legal requirements...

Wearing them is not illegal, and it doesn't say that he didn't also have legal, bicycle mounted lights.

No - I didn't say it was illegal. But if the prosecutor is claiming they were the 'necessary' (i.e. presumably the legally required) lights, then they wouldn't have qualified if he was 'wearing' them.

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eburtthebike replied to Ramz | 2 years ago
2 likes
Ramz wrote:
Quote:

John Traversi, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing the necessary flashing lights"

What necessary lights????

I logged on to say the same thing, and this is the prosecuter saying this; I wonder why the prosecution failed?

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joe9090 | 2 years ago
14 likes

Deliberately drive into a cyclist - no problem, slap on the wrist.

Cycle unavoidably into a pedestrian obliviously jaywalking and looking at their phone, 2 years in the clink.

Totally fair!

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to joe9090 | 2 years ago
4 likes

hmm, causing a death, not causing a death. Pretty big difference missing in your comparison there. 

However interesting they actually looked at assault charges for deliberately driving into someone. I wonder if that decision was down to the persons immediate friends being as the other day, another driver who did drive into someone and potentially admitted it was because of a previous altercation was just given an awareness course. 

Looking forward to boo coming on and stating it is Gilligans fault for calling the driver a fucking twat. 

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Hirsute replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

Although if the light ahead is red, you should expect traffic in front of you to stop !

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wycombewheeler replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

Although if the light ahead is red, you should expect traffic in front of you to stop !

If the light is red you should be stopping whatever the user in front is doing.

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jh2727 replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
3 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:
hirsute wrote:

Although if the light ahead is red, you should expect traffic in front of you to stop !

If the light is red you should be stopping whatever the user in front is doing.

That's all well and good - if the driver behind you stops for the red light. 

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cqexbesd replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
2 likes
hirsute wrote:

Although if the light ahead is red, you should expect traffic in front of you to stop !

This was London though so it should be hope rather than expect.

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jh2727 replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

Although if the light ahead is red, you should expect traffic in front of you to stop !

It is London - I think 'expect' is a bit strong.  As the prosecution say the 'stopped suddenly at a red light' - even prosecutors don't expect drivers to stop at red lights in London.

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jh2727 replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like
AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

hmm, causing a death, not causing a death. Pretty big difference missing in your comparison there. 

The difference often comes down to luck (another day, Kim Briggs could have landed fine and not been injured - equally Andrew Gilligan could have landed awkardly and died). Also, Charlie Alliston wasn't convicted of causing death, he was only convicted of causing bodily harm - he was acquitted of manslaughter.

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wycombewheeler replied to joe9090 | 2 years ago
7 likes
joe9090 wrote:

Deliberately drive into a cyclist - no problem, slap on the wrist.

Cycle unavoidably into a pedestrian obliviously jaywalking and looking at their phone, 2 years in the clink.

Totally fair!

While to some degree I agree that Charlie Alliston was dealt with far more harshly than any driver would have been 

1) Jaywalking is not a thing in the UK

2) it was not proven the pedestrian was looking at phone.

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eburtthebike replied to joe9090 | 2 years ago
10 likes
joe9090 wrote:

Deliberately drive into a cyclist - no problem, slap on the wrist.

Cycle unavoidably into a pedestrian obliviously jaywalking and looking at their phone, 2 years in the clink.

Charlie Alliston admitted that he made up that she was looking at her phone. That said, the driver in this case, as in so many others, is treated incredibly leniently for using their car as a weapon. Why was the charge of assault dropped?

As I may have mentioned before, the law isn't just an ass when it comes to protecting the vulnerable road user, it's a veritable herd of the assiest asses in all of assville. (Thanks Homer)

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