A pedestrian has been found guilty of killing a 77-year-old cyclist who had “angered” her by being on the pavement.
Auriol Grey, 49, gestured in a “hostile and aggressive way” towards Celia Ward who fell into the path of an oncoming car in Huntingdon on 20 October 2020.
Peterborough Crown Court heard Grey had shouted at Mrs Ward to “get off the [expletive] pavement”.
Grey, of Bradbury Place, Huntingdon, was convicted of manslaughter and will be sentenced on 2 March.
The jury heard the two women passed each other in opposite directions on the pavement of the town’s ring road pavement that afternoon.
The incident was captured on CCTV which included sound, and the prosecution claimed the defendant was “angered by the presence of a cyclist on a footpath”.
After the verdict, Det Sgt Dollard said: "This is a difficult and tragic case.
“Everyone will have their own views on cyclists, pavements and cycleways but what is clear is Auriol Grey’s response to the presence of Celia on a pedal cycle was totally disproportionate and ultimately found to be unlawful, resulting in Celia’s untimely and needless death.”
An unusual, and sad, case. Patently, there was no intent to kill … but death was the outcome …
It’s outrageous that she was found guilty of anything. Just goes to show what a loony country we now live in. This is an example of the stress cyclists are causing to pedestrians. The government is totally ignoring the chaos on pavements. There’s a complete lack of policing.
Apparently, the court was told police could not “categorically” state whether the pavement was a shared cycleway, so, since it was adjacent to a ring road, it may well have been considered as such by cyclists and avoided by (most) pedestrians.
Nevertheless, Grey left prior to emergency services arriving, went to Sainsbury’s where she bought groceries and returned home - she was traced for interview the following day.
so going to sainsbury’s makes her guilty of manslaughter? Like I said - this country is going to the loons. Shared paths are thought up by totally lazy councils who can’t be bothered to put into place safe cycling infrastructure. The council should be in the dock not this poor woman.
Grey, apparently, does not consider herself to have a mental disability but her behaviour would indicate otherwise. She verbally assaulted then pushed a cyclist into the path of oncoming traffic, ignored the consequences and walked on to complete her shopping trip.
I don’t have a mental disability but totally understand how she feels. It’s the responsibility of local authorities to create safe spaces for both pedestrians and cyclists. The safe spaces are not shared spaces. Local authorities find it convenient to pretend cyclists and pedestrians are somehow compatible. They are not. Cyclists should never be on pavements. If they are and something happens then the council should be liable. There is a lack of joined uppedness between different agencies - the police, the local authorities, highways agencies, loony town planning consultants who don’t think pedestrians matter, etc. Now someone has died because of their chaotic thinking.
I’ve just read more about this. There’s no evidence that she was pushed. But an article states that Auriol Grey has cerebral palsy and poor eyesight. It says she tried to protect herself from the cyclist with her arm.
So the perpetrator is disabled, with poor eyesight and a physical condition that can cause unpredictable jerky movements. This gets worse and worse. I’m shocked that she was convicted.
Why was a cyclist on a pavement going at high speed (and not wearing a helmet)?
Celia Ward didn’t just fall off - Grey either made contact and pushed her off or Grey’s abuse and aggression caused Ward to “divert” into the oncoming traffic - in either case, Grey’s actions caused the death of Ward.
Grey, apparently, has cerebral palsy and poor eyesight and, seemingly, poor anger management control - “get off the [expletive] pavement”
The allegation “high speed” comes from Grey, who, of course, has poor eyesight.
One might ask “What was someone with poor eyesight and cerebral palsy (a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture) walking along a path adjacent to a town centre ring road?” Such routes are notoriously unhealthy and unsafe for pedestrians (and cyclists).
Wearing a helmet whilst cycling is not a legal requirement in the UK. Simon Spence, KC, for the prosecution, 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”.
It dosnt say anywhere in the report that she was pushed ? It seems to me some guilt should be accepted by the authorities for the confusion in whether this was a cycle path as well as a pedestrian walkway.
I doubt the angry pedestrian meant to kill the cyclist. The pedestrian has cerebral palsy so maybe she has jerky movements and raising her hand may have seemed like a threat… very sad for the cyclist but also for the pedestrian who has to live with the consequences…I don’t think she is guilty its.just very sad her actions caused an accident.
After watching the video and reading a few details about the case, I’d say the woman who has been found guilty of manslaughter did bear culpability for what happened.
It does look to me as if she deliberately stuck to the middle of the pavement as she approached the cycle - both her words and her actions suggest she wasn’t acting defensively, she meant to confront the cyclist.
She could have walked towards the railings as she approached the cyclist and they could probably have passed each other without incident.
Instead, she seemed to move further over towards the road edge of the pavement, towards the cyclist as she approached, that doesn’t seem like a defensive action to me.
It isn’t clear from the CCTV footage if she hit the cyclist when she flung out her arm but in her statement she did admit that she “unintentionally put out her hand to protect herself” and she believed she “had made light contact” with the cyclist.
So, if I have understood the situation correctly, she saw the cyclist on the pavement and instead of moving towards the other edge of the pavement to avoid colliding with her, she walked towards her, shouting “get off the (expletive) pavement” , stuck out her arm, hitting the cyclist, causing the cyclist to swerve or fall into the road in front of a passing car.
Then without even waiting for the emergency services to arrive, she went on her way to do her shopping while the elderly cyclist lay dead or dying in the road, then she went home.
I have sympathy for pedestrians who have to put up with sharing footpaths with cyclists and it’s not clear in this case whether the path is a shared path or if cyclists are supposed to be on the road - I didn’t see any cycle lane markings on either the footpath or the road, so the local authorities maybe bear some responsibility for the lack of clarity on the cycle route - but that doesn’t absolve the woman who stuck out her arm in the pathway of a cyclist and caused the accident which killed her.
Maybe her disabilities will feature as mitigating factors in the Judge’s sentencing but I think the manslaughter verdict was justified.
I don’t suppose she intended the cyclist to die but Ms Grey did not consider the cyclist’s safety when she stuck out her arm right in front of her and caused the incident which led to her death.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable within road user hierarchy highway code’s new guidance. Cyclists are above pedestrians, then you have mopeds, cars, trucks etc. So according to the code absolutely everyone should give way to a pedestrian or someone in a wheelchair and not the other way around.
The cyclist could see the pedestrian and did not stop or go to the left, instead they are face to face. Why? They need to toughen up the law both on shared paths (ie. ban them completely) and on local authorities not providing adequate cycling infrastructure and instead creating this situation where there isn’t even a barrier between a very narrow footpath and a very busy road. Absolutely disgraceful town planning.