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20-year-old told trial last month he had worked as courier for eight months - but firms say he spent a handful of days with them

Charlie Alliston, who was yesterday sentenced to 18 months in a young offender institution in connection with the death of London pedestrian Kim Briggs, could reportedly face a charge of perjury after claiming under oath at his trial last month that he was an experienced bike courier.

The 20-year-old was convicted last month of causing bodily harm through wanton and furious driving but acquitted of manslaughter in relation to the death of Mrs Briggs, who died from head injuries sustained when the pair collided on London’s Old Street in February 2016.

> London fixed wheel cyclist Charlie Alliston sentenced to 18 months in young offenders institution

He told the Old Bailey at his trial that he had spent eight months working as a courier in London, making up to 20 deliveries a day.

Alliston, whose fixed wheel bike had no front brake meaning it was not legal for use on the public highway, had apparently been seeking to convince the jury that his experience meant that he was able to control the bike safely.

He claimed while giving evidence that he had worked for three different firms, but the Daily Mail says that when it contacted two of his employers, they told him that he had minimal experience.

One, Go Between Couriers, said that he had worked for them for one day but never came back while a second, A-Z Couriers, confirmed that he had spent a week working there.

A third firm, Pink Express, ceased trading in 2014, a year before the time Alliston said he worked for them.

At the Old Bailey yesterday, Judge Wendy Joseph said: “I have now been advised that Mr Alliston was not telling the truth about his courier experience.”

She also confirmed that the Daily Mail had passed its information to the prosecution.

The judge made a reference to Alliston’s claimed employment history in her sentencing remarks.

She said: “During the latter months of 2015 you dropped out of school and told the court you worked as a bicycle courier, cycling extensively on the London roads.

“The truthfulness of your evidence on this point has been questioned, however, for the purposes of this sentencing it makes no difference, and for these purposes I put it out of my mind.”

Passing sentence, she told Alliston: “'I've heard your evidence and I have no doubt that even now you remain obstinately sure of yourself and your own abilities.

“I have no doubt you are wrong in this. You were an accident waiting to happen. The victim could have been any pedestrian. It was in fact Mrs Kim Briggs.

“'If you bicycle had a front wheel brake you could have stopped but on this illegal bike you could not and on your evidence, by this stage, you were not even trying to slow or stop.

“You expected her to get out of the way,” she added.

In England & Wales the offence of perjury, created under the Perjury Act 1911, carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

65 comments

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ChrisB200SX [596 posts] 4 months ago
39 likes

I'm sure the Daily Mail investigates killer drivers just as fastidiously.

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Yorkshire wallet [1640 posts] 4 months ago
29 likes

This bloke is - as they say - his own worst enemy.

 

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StraelGuy [1110 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

I was going to say 'massive cockwomble' but own worst enemy covers it as well.

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KendalRed [115 posts] 4 months ago
31 likes

I don't think the Daily Heil will rest until he's swinging from the gallows. In fact I don't think they'll rest until we are all up there with him.

Chapeau to Evans for refusing to advertise in the rag.

 

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brooksby [2817 posts] 4 months ago
7 likes

Wow, I hope that he was never mean to a classmate when he was at school, or was a secret Take That fan or something...     It looks like every single thing in his life is going to become fair game - the tabloids have really got the daggers out for him.   I'm not sure what more they want for him other than a custodial sentence  (other than maybe a custodial sentence for every cyclist ever...).

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hawkinspeter [1212 posts] 4 months ago
8 likes

I don't see what he was even trying to achieve by exaggerating his commercial experience. Often professional delivery riders will take any opportunity to go as fast as possible, so I don't see how that was supposed to influence the judge in a good way.

If he was lying about it in court, then he's a complete idiot though I still think there's much more dangerous people out there that should have gotten 18 months before this chump.

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1961BikiE [403 posts] 4 months ago
9 likes

As said by others amazing none partisan investigation of a RTA s by the Mail. There's obviously going to be a LOT of reporters jobs needed there so they can devote this amount of attention to road incidents in general.

As for the young man in question. I can't say I have any sympathy for him. Just sad he's been used as a stalking horse to further justify the abuse (which can be dangerous at the very least) aimed at cyclists.

"We'll m'lud I did flatten this lycra clad nonce but if you remember that yuff in London had no front brake so they're all fair game aren't they?"

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tugglesthegreat [55 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

That just doesn't ring true.  I've never worked as a cycle courier but as a motorcycle courier you can walk through the door with no experience and get a job in most places. 

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Legin [143 posts] 4 months ago
8 likes

He may be a dick, but the law is an ass!

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Grahamd [829 posts] 4 months ago
12 likes

Just picked up my free copy of the Daily Mail from Waitrose, not to read, but for my chickens to shit on.

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Zebulebu [84 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

He'll end up on Big Brother, guaranteed

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pedalpowerDC [371 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes

If they are going to write new laws to protect vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists), make sure the laws apply to when careless drivers kill pedestrians and cyclists as well as when idiots like this guy kill pedestrians or other cyclists.

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Yorkshire wallet [1640 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
Zebulebu wrote:

He'll end up on Big Brother, guaranteed

He's probably got a big brother of the type you don't need in prison.

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Bluebug [280 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:

I'm sure the Daily Mail investigates killer drivers just as fastidiously.

The DM or any tabloid,  only dig dirt up on you are either save someone/thing or are public enemy number one doesn't matter what you do.  Point is don't make yourself newsworthy and they will leave you alone.

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giff77 [1288 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
tugglesthegreat wrote:

That just doesn't ring true.  I've never worked as a cycle courier but as a motorcycle courier you can walk through the door with no experience and get a job in most places. 

I would suggest he couldn't cut it as a courier. After all he bailed out after one day with one and lasted a week for the other. 

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bendertherobot [1484 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes
Copsframecyclist wrote:

I don't think exaggeration about experience is illegal but what will be facinating is if this judge Wendy Joseph now says Alliston’s experience in riding a fixie is not as he claims n takes action, only suggestes to us that his experience was relevant. So how will she explain convicting him soley on the bases of having no front whilst clearly disregarding his experience claims. If his experience was bought into question now, then that will diminise the lack of front argument and making his conviction unsafe. Some people only need a minimum of experience to qualify in doing things so what experience does Daily Mail (clearly Anti-cylist lynch mob) have in riding a fixie to qualify their comments? This trial was not about his experience and he was not working for any company during the accident so they should remain neutral. He probably has more private experience and credit to him lack of any reported crashes prior to this.

The Judge didn't convict him, a jury did, having heard all the evidence. The Judge summed up before the Jury considered its verdict. There's been no appeal on the basis of her summing up. Her sentencing comments relate only to sentencing. She did not convict him.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1941 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes
Bluebug wrote:
ChrisB200SX wrote:

I'm sure the Daily Mail investigates killer drivers just as fastidiously.

The DM or any tabloid,  only dig dirt up on you are either save someone/thing or are public enemy number one doesn't matter what you do.  Point is don't make yourself newsworthy and they will leave you alone.

Nah. You can be extremely newsworthy, but you need to make sure you are newsworthy in a way that the Daily Mail aprove of.
(Rupert Murdoch is pretty newsworthy - when did the Sun last investigate him? And did I miss the Times' expose of phone hacking? Has the Express ever gone out to dig up dirt on Nigel Farage? How often has the Sun gone after Kelvin Mackenzie?)

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zanf [969 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes
Bluebug wrote:
ChrisB200SX wrote:

I'm sure the Daily Mail investigates killer drivers just as fastidiously.

The DM or any tabloid,  only dig dirt up on you are either save someone/thing or are public enemy number one doesn't matter what you do.  Point is don't make yourself newsworthy and they will leave you alone.

So we should all be timid little cattle that do as we're told, when we're told by tabloids owned by non-dom tax avoiding multi billionaires?

There's only one answer to that.

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StantheVoice [120 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes

Copsframecyclist wrote:

I don't think exaggeration about experience is illegal

 

I'm no legal expert, but I think exaggeration of experience whilst testifying in a court of law is equal to lying, so therefore, I think it probably is illegal. 

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LastBoyScout [363 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

Seems somewhat incompetent of him/his defence to allow him to state as fact something that is so easily disproved.

If this was deemed to be of any relevance to the case, surely the prosecution/judge should have investigated his claimed experience as part of the process and not now after the fact on the back of a load of dirt-digging by a tabloid rag? Perhaps they were too busy hanging their case on a self-evidently ludicrous analysis of braking distances.

As it is, the jury seems to have discounted it as having any relevance during the proceedings.

How very "public spirited" of the Daily Mail to go to these lengths of investigation for something that would otherwise probably not have come to light as it wasn't a factor in his sentencing and was more (ok, a whopper) of an exaggeration rather than an outright lie - stinks of a witchhunt to smear/get him for anything they can, having decided the sentence he's been handed isn't harsh enough.

Never ceases to amaze me how much information the rags can dig up on anyone - how on earth do they manage to get hold of private employment records, unless they themselves are committing fraud in claiming to be employers looking for references or someone at the companies is breaking the law in disclosing the information?

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FluffyKittenofT... [1941 posts] 4 months ago
10 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

Never ceases to amaze me how much information the rags can dig up on anyone - how on earth do they manage to get hold of private employment records, unless they themselves are committing fraud in claiming to be employers looking for references or someone at the companies is breaking the law in disclosing the information?

Given that in the course of the phone-hacking affair it was revealed how easy it was for them to get hold of medical records (which most definitely _are_ supposed to be confidential) with a few simple lies, it's not surprising they can get employment histories (which I don't think are confidential anyway).

They probably just rang up his former employers (are courier companies technically 'employers' by the way?) and asked them. It probably is perfectly legal for them to do so.

The whole thing is just another example of how much power the not-at-all-free press has to pursue their partisan agendas. They never put this much effort into investigating Hillsborough or phone-hacking or anything else that didn't fit their agenda.

I can't see what relevance the guy's lies on this are to the case. I suspect he just was in the habit of lying about it (even to himself) because it boosted his ego, and just did so again without even thinking it through. He doesn't seem the type to think anything through, ever.

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hawkinspeter [1212 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Copsframecyclist wrote:

I don't think exaggeration about experience is illegal but what will be facinating is if this judge Wendy Joseph now says Alliston’s experience in riding a fixie is not as he claims n takes action, only suggestes to us that his experience was relevant. So how will she explain convicting him soley on the bases of having no front brake when all the while, disregarding his experience claims as irrelevant. If his experience was bought into question now, then that will diminise the lack of front brake as a major factor of accident and making his conviction unsafe. Some people only need a minimum of experience to qualify in doing things so what experience does Daily Mail (clearly Anti-cylist lynch mob) have in riding a fixie to qualify their comments? This trial was not about his experience and he was not working for any company during the accident so they should remain neutral. He probably has more private experience and credit to him lack of any reported crashes prior to this. Don't forget the cop stopping test video needs scrutinising and investigating probably by channel 4 Dispatches.

Apparently, he made those claims about experience whilst under oath, so knowingly lying is illegal in those circumstances.

The judge explicitly stated that his experience level wasn't relevant to her sentencing, so I don't think this will make any difference to his sentence/appeal.

The Daily Heil is just doing it's usual thing of stoking the fires of hatred towards out-groups whilst pretending that there's some idyllic Britain that used to exist and we all want to go back to. They hate cyclists of all types, and this story feeds right into their fear/hatred which is why they are putting so much effort into crucifying this young man.

With regards to the cop stopping test, I'd be interested to know how the defense dealt with it as they should have been able to rip it to pieces. It doesn't have any real bearing outside of that one case due to multiple issues with their methodology.

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exilegareth [126 posts] 4 months ago
5 likes
StantheVoice wrote:
Copsframecyclist wrote:

I don't think exaggeration about experience is illegal

 

I'm no legal expert, but I think exaggeration of experience whilst testifying in a court of law is equal to lying, so therefore, I think it probably is illegal. 

The majority of defendants who are found guilty lie in court, but, in cases like this, where the lie is discounted by the judge in their sentencing remarks, there is no public interest in a perjury charge.

 

The huge hole in the judge's sentencing remarks, I would suggets, is the way they discounted the evidence that he has some mental health issues or a personality disorder. Sidewalk diagnosis is wrong, on every level,  but Alliston was found by police doing acts preparatory to self harm, was confined to hospital, and the judge acknowledged evidence from his ex that he did things suggestive of a personality disorder. That should have been more fully explored, because it's odds on he'll not get better in a YOI.

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Ush [1038 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't see what he was even trying to achieve by exaggerating his commercial experience. Often professional delivery riders will take any opportunity to go as fast as possible, so I don't see how that was supposed to influence the judge in a good way.

If he was lying about it in court, then he's a complete idiot though I still think there's much more dangerous people out there that should have gotten 18 months before this chump.

He may have been a fantasist, lying about being in what is perceived by some as a trendy job and have built up a persona based around that in his social circle and then come to believe it himself.

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zanf [969 posts] 4 months ago
9 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I can't see what relevance the guy's lies on this are to the case. I suspect he just was in the habit of lying about it (even to himself) because it boosted his ego, and just did so again without even thinking it through. He doesn't seem the type to think anything through, ever.

A very simple explanation for that

Quote:

The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.

In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.

In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not necessarily at the same rate. That’s why when teens experience overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling.

On top of that add the bereavement of his father less than 2 years before and you easily have one messed up young adult that doesn't think things through, or realise the full consequences of his actions.

Whast the worst thing from all this is that this will be used as the bedrock of anti-cyclist diatribes culminating in before the end of Sadiq Khans tenure as mayor, there will be a lot of support to rip out the segregated cycleways. And all those who have waded into this kid wil have helped the arseholes that achieve rolling cycling gains back 30 years bcause to them, giving the kid a kicking is easier than growing a fucking pair and fighting against treating this incident as a tragic accident that was a culmination of the perfect storm of several factors.

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Ush [1038 posts] 4 months ago
10 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

The Daily Heil is just doing it's usual thing of stoking the fires of hatred towards out-groups whilst pretending that there's some idyllic Britain that used to exist and we all want to go back to.

Ironically, that idyllic Britain is one in which only a few toffs had motorcars and the rest of us travelled by train or ....... bicycle.

Especially vicar's daughters , with baskets of fresh baked bread and dewey roses and honeysuckle plucked from the wild hedgerows.

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Sniffer [456 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes

Don't get drawn into the Daily Mail's silly game.

I don't think perjury charges are in this case are likely.

I would suspect that many people who are convicted after pleading not guilty have in effect perjured themselves. 

Think about it

'Did you steal xxx' asks the lawyer.  'No I didn't' says the defendant.

.... and then the jury passes a guilty sentence as there is lots of evidence the defendent did steal xxx.

Then precisely nothing happens related to perjury.

The court system won't want to say it explicitly though.

Perjury is much more important if a witness lies.  They may not be on trial, but it is appropriate that they commit a crime if the lie under oath.  Similarly when a defendant was found not guilty based on a lie they told in evidence. 

Now in this case Alliston was found guilty of one charge and not guilty of manslaughter.  It is hard to imagine that his evidence was significant in his aquital and therefore it unlikely that a further prosecution when he is already serving a custodial sentence will be in the public interest, hence you won't hear anymore about it.  Although, none of us can be sure what is in the minds of the jurors.

I know there are people on this forum with much more court and legal knowledge than me, but I doubt the Daily Mail's 'revelation' is likely to add up to much and is not part of the case that matters (whatever your view on Alliston and his behaviour).

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Pub bike [256 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

On the one hand it is a shame that he wasn't convicted of manslaughter because that would have made a precedent that would mean all motorists that kill should be tried for manslaughter, and in doing so saved the lives of many pedestrians and cyclists.  Fortunately for the individual that was not the case, less fortunate for everyone else.  He is just some dumb kid who talks too much and thus brought the full force of the tabloids upon himself. "Justice" will be done.

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dottigirl [811 posts] 4 months ago
6 likes

Or he could've been working off the books and the firms don't want to own up to it?

If he were supporting himself, have they stated how he was doing it, if not by couriering?

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FluffyKittenofT... [1941 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
dottigirl wrote:

Or he could've been working off the books and the firms don't want to own up to it?

If he were supporting himself, have they stated how he was doing it, if not by couriering?

With courier firms is it ever really 'on the books'? Do they not treat all their couriers as 'self employed' anyway? So, apart from the reputational damage of being associated with the hate-figure de jour, do they have any reason to lie? They might just not bother keeping particularly good records, of course, as they generally want to deny all legal liability for their workforce.

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