Like this site? Help us to make it better.

“It should have been her right to get home safely”: Driver admits causing death of Hackney cyclist

Martin Reilly pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving; victim Gao Gao, a mother-of-two, was one of three cyclists killed on borough’s roads in recent weeks

An east London man has pleaded guilty to causing the death last month by dangerous driving of a mother-of-two who was cycling in the London Borough of Hackney, and has been told by a judge that despite his admission to the crime, he faces a custodial sentence.

The victim, 36-year-old Gao Gao, was one of three cyclists who have lost their lives in road traffic collisions in the borough in recent weeks, reports the Hackney Gazette.

In a statement following her death, Ms Gao’s family said that it “should have been her right to get home safely.”

They added: “She had so much more to give, and so much more that she wanted to do with her life.”

The fatal crash happened on 21 September on Whiston Road, known locally as being used by rat-running drivers.

Ms Gao, aged 36 and who worked as associate director of leadership philanthropy at LSE, died in hospital the following day.

Police arrested the driver, Martin Reilly, who fled the scene on foot, two days after the crash, which was captured on CCTV. Another occupant of the vehicle also fled the scene..

At the hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday afternoon, Her Honour Judge Caroline English remanded him in custody and warned Reilly that he faced a prison sentence.

Prior to his guilty plea, the judge told Reilly’s defence counsel, Monica Stevenson, that she had watched the CCTV footage, and said to the barrister: “This defendant needs some very robust advice.”

After Reilly, aged 29 and from Lower Clapton, entered his guilty plea, the judge told him: “The matter you have pleaded guilty to is incredibly serious. You should expect to receive a substantial and immediate prison sentence.”

Reilly, aged 29 and from Lower Clapton, will be sentenced at the same court on 19 January next year, pending pre-sentencing reports which, according to his barrister, will address unspecified “mental health issues.”

Last Wednesday, Hackney Cycling Campaign, which is the borough branch affiliated to London Cycling Campaign, held a protest ride to Hackney Town Hall on Mare Street to call for safer streets for cycling following the three recent deaths.

Please note that comments are closed on this story.

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.

Latest Comments