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Pedestrian on trial for manslaughter over cyclist's death during pavement cycling dispute

The prosecutor told the court Auriol Grey was "angered by the presence of a cyclist on a footpath" and "gestured in a hostile and aggressive way", causing the rider to fall into the road where she was fatally hit...

A pedestrian "angered" by a cyclist riding on the pavement gestured in a "hostile and aggressive way" causing the rider to fall from her bike and into the path of a passing vehicle, a court has heard.

Auriol Grey, 49, is on trial at Peterborough Crown Court accused of manslaughter in relation to the death of 77-year-old Celia Ward in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on 20 October 2020, which she denies.

Prosecuting, Simon Spence KC told the court the Huntingdon local had been caught on CCTV footage telling Mrs Ward to "get off the [expletive] pavement" and "gestured in a hostile and aggressive way".

The BBC reports that while Mr Spence admitted it was unclear from the footage whether there was any physical contact, he said the gesture had caused Mrs Ward to fall off her bike and into the road where a driver, who had "no chance to stop or take avoiding action" collided with her, causing her death.

He told jurors they would hear from Mrs Ward's husband who says his wife was an "experienced and competent cyclist".

The incident happened in the autumn of 2020 as the pair travelled in opposite directions of the path next to Huntington's ring road. 

Ms Grey — who the court heard has cerebral palsy and significant eyesight issues, but does not consider herself to have a mental disability — was "angered by the presence of a cyclist on a footpath", Mr Spence said.

Jurors were shown the CCTV footage, which included sound and caught the moment Ms Grey told the cyclist to get off the pavement, and were told the driver passing had "no chance" of avoiding the collision.

The court also heard that Ms Grey left the scene before the emergency services arrived and went to Sainsbury's to buy groceries.

She was arrested a day later and told police she "flinched out with her left arm to protect herself" from the cyclist who was travelling at "high speed".

Mr Spence said Mrs Ward was not wearing a helmet but "even if she had have been nothing would have saved her life given the injuries she sustained".

The trial continues, please note comments on this story are closed.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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