Five on trial for London cyclist's death after he was caught up in drivers' dispute

Court hears of rider killed yards from home as cars raced over dog dispute

by Simon_MacMichael   May 19, 2010  


The Old Bailey has heard how a London cyclist was killed just yards from his home after being hit by a car traveling at up to twice the speed limit whose driver was involved in a dispute over the price of a rottweiler with occupants of a second vehicle involved in the incident.

Graham Thwaites, aged 51, who worked in the City of London as an administrator for Lloyds TSB, died from his injuries in September 2008 after being hit by a Mitsubishi Shogun driven by 35-year-old Andrew Carlisle on Leesons Hill, Orpington, reports the Press Association.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey that the vehicle was “completely out of control” at the time of the fatal collision, and that it was being pursued, and was rammed twice, by a Vauxhall Vectra containing William Dennard, 24, David Cook, 24, George Webb 27, and Shane Webb, 24.

He added that there was “great deal of animosity" between Carlisle and the four occupants of the Astra, apparently arising from a dispute over the cost of a rottweiler. All five are on trial for manslaughter and causing death by dangerous driving, with prosecutors saying that they are all responsible for Mr Thwaites’ death, whether as a result of their driving or through encouragement.

According to Mr Heywood, the two vehicles were driven for three quarters of a mile along the residential road, where the speed limit is 30mph, at up to 60mph. “They jostled for position in the road,” he said. “They paid no heed to other users of the road. They were interested only in their own immediate purpose. Those in the second car drove so hard and in such a way that the front of their own vehicle hit the back of the one they were following. They hit that car not once but twice over that short distance of three-quarters of a mile."

Mr Heywood continued: "All of this ended, as it was bound to end, in tragedy. It ended in death - but not for them. The man who died didn't know them. He had never heard of any of them. He knew nothing of their fight or petty grievances. It is probable that he didn't even see them coming. He was riding properly, he was dressed properly and, what's more, he was just yards from home."

The trial resumes today.

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Terrible - let's hope the judge sees sense and gives all 5 the maximum sentence. They should also have to pay compensation - not less than £1 million.


posted by OldRidgeback [2553 posts]
19th May 2010 - 9:11


That has to rank as one of the most insane stories I've ever read involving death by dangerous driving - astonishing.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [320 posts]
19th May 2010 - 11:10


I'm not holding my breath. I doubt that sanity will prevail.

Bring me sunshine, and dry roads

MalcolmBinns's picture

posted by MalcolmBinns [114 posts]
19th May 2010 - 12:29


Maybe it just me but I get the impression that the CPS seem to be bringing more realistic charges against the morons these days?
In the past they seemed to always plumb for the safe but laughable charge with the obvious limitations on sentencing.
It could just be down to the reporting but I think its a move in the right direction.

posted by mrchrispy [408 posts]
19th May 2010 - 12:50


Was the second vehicle an Astra or a Vectra? If there is a discrepancy in the details that the CPS has, it could affect the outcome and result in charges being lessend or even dropped. Let's hope this is just a fault in the reporting.


posted by OldRidgeback [2553 posts]
19th May 2010 - 13:48


There is a greater chance of somewhat punitive sentencing in this case than in an ordinary "car versus cyclist" incident because the defendants are clearly scum and they could just as easily have killed a motorist or pedestrian. For those reasons, the judge and jury will identify with the victim rather than the perpetrators (the "There, but for the grace of god, go I" effect.) But still, even if they are sent down for a long stretch in prison, don't bet on more than a year's driving ban. And, if the jury aren't able to proportion blame to the various parties in this case, they could all walk.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
19th May 2010 - 14:39


More crazy-mad driver scum.

What's the chances at least one of the cars wasn't insured.

Let's hope custodial sentences and an indefinite driving ban are invoked.

But I'm not holding my breath.

posted by Recumbenteer [155 posts]
19th May 2010 - 14:55


Throw away the key.

posted by pomtarr [46 posts]
20th May 2010 - 19:06