A 27-year-old Bristol man has been handed a six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving. Connor Coltman cycled into 70-year-old Angela Horseman as she crossed East Street in Bedminster on January 15, leaving her with life-threatening injuries. He fled the scene fearing he’d killed her.
Bristol Live reports how Mark Worsley, prosecuting, played CCTV footage showing Coltman cycling in East Street at 8.45am. The cyclist can be seen swerving around pedestrian Jose Barata before hitting Horseman.
Horseman was taken to Southmead Hospital where she was found to have bleeding on the brain, a fractured skull and a punctured lung.
Worsley said: "Mr Coltman picked up the bicycle and stayed at the scene for a few seconds. He waited briefly. His companion said, 'you'd better go' and, despite a witness saying he should stay put, he made off and others came to assist."
A witness said they heard Coltman say: "Oh my God, I think I've killed her."
Another said they overheard him say: "I ain't gonna stop. It's not my responsibilty."
Coltman is said to have ridden off making motorcycle noises.
Robert Morgan-Jones, defending, said: "He is just 27. His chronological age does not accurately reflect his level of maturity."
Coltman worked as a gardener when he was 18 but has not worked for three or four years and has mostly been homeless. He has a long-term drug problem.
British Transport Police tracked Coltman down a few hours later on the railway line between Bedminster and Bristol Temple Meads. He was wearing different clothes and identified himself as ‘Phil Morgan’.
Coltman tried to run, but was arrested. He said that the collision was an accident.
The charge of causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving for which Coltman was convicted is the same for which Charlie Alliston was found guilty following the 2017 death of pedestrian Kim Briggs.
Since Alliston’s trial, Briggs’ widower, Matthew Briggs, has called for the creation of new offences of causing death by careless cycling and causing death by dangerous cycling, similar to those that apply to motorists.
In 2018, the Government ran a consultation on a proposed new law of causing death by dangerous cycling, which would carry the same penalty as applies to causing death by dangerous driving.
Cycling UK has consistently called for a broader review of all road traffic offences, examining whether the current definitions of and standards for ‘careless’ and ‘dangerous’ actually work when applied to offences by all road users.