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Driver says tweets sent by friend as a prank - but details have now been passed to police

Staff at the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) have helped track down a young motorist who boasted on Twitter of having knocked two cyclists off their bikes in Richmond Park. The driver concerned has subsequently been in touch with LCC, claiming that the tweets were a joke played by a friend who had taken his phone from him, but the matter is nevertheless now in the hands of the police.

On Wednesday evening, while searching on Twitter for information about their local group in Richmond, LCC staff happened across a tweet from user @Incillin – the account has subsequently been set to 'protected' so you can't read their tweets – which read: “Today is not my day.. I just hit two cyclists subsequently in Richmond Park. That's why ladies and gentlemen..its not wise to cycle.” The tweet had been sent shortly before 7pm the same evening.

A subsequent tweet from the same user stated: “By the way when such things occur...I don't stop. In this instance, I casually drove away from the scene like nothing happened.”

@Incillin then received a tweet from follower @AhmedGooner who seemed more concerned about the fate of his friend’s car than that of the two cyclists, asking: “Is the Astra dented? I hope not...” and received the reply: “Nah its not dented. I think the two white guys I hit...were more bruised and dented. Not a scratch on mind.”

As LCC points out, this being Twitter, “let's make it clear we have no proof these incidents took place. However, if it’s true... First, being a bad enough driver to hit two cyclists in one day should be enough to have you removed from the roads permanently.

“And second, hitting two human beings and then having the cowardice to drive away – when either of them could have serious injuries – is totally unacceptable.

“Fortunately, the law agrees, and not reporting a crash is a serious criminal offence, which could put this driver in jail.”

LCC then sent a message from its own account - @london_cycling – to see if anyone could help find the two cyclists who were said to have been knocked down, saying: “Astra driver tweeted that he knocked down 2 cyclists in Richmond Pk yday & didn't stop. Were you there? pls retweet,” omitting the original tweeter’s Twitter name so as not to alert him.

Yesterday morning however, possibly as a result of someone copying him into a tweet, it transpired that @Incillin had blocked his Twitter account, but not before LCC had copied his tweets from the last three months and passed them to the Police Cycle Task Force and the Metropolitan Police’s Road Safe team.

Among the tweets that LCC found was one suggesting that the driver in question perhaps isn’t too concerned with adhering to the letter of the law, potentially putting other road users such as cyclists at risk: “From Kingston to Action [sic] in 15mins...is that feasible?...well with my driving anything ah anything.”

LCC was also able to draw up a comprehensive profile of the Twitter member using information gathered from his profile and his tweets, including his real name and details of his physical appearance.

In a surprising turn of events, Incillin himself contacted LCC yesterday evening and asked it to publish an apology in which he claimed the tweets were the result of a friend playing a prank, saying:

"I’d like to express my side of the story in regard to the tweet made about the cyclists in Richmond Park.

“Yesterday around 7pm. I was with few of my mates whom had my phone unknowingly and tweeted that particular tweet as a “joke”.

“First and foremost, nothing stated in the tweet is true in the slightest.

“Secondly, as a avid cyclist myself who cycles to work twice a week, I would never commit such crime nor indulge in it.

“However, since the twitter account is mine. I accept full responsibility for my mate’s stupid actions, which has come to this. I also send my sincere apologies."

Of course, if you do happen to know of any cyclists who were knocked off their bikes by a driver in an Astra in Richmond Park on Wednesday evening, please get in touch with LCC as soon as possible so that details can be passed on to the police.

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.

20 comments

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John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 6 years ago
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An "avid" cyclist doesn't joke about knocking people off.

Largely because once you've lost an inch or two of skin, it's not funny.

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dullard [140 posts] 6 years ago
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If I drove an Astra, I wouldn't tweet about it. In fact I'd deny it was mine.

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Paul M [363 posts] 6 years ago
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Perhaps one can be sceptical of his claim that a "friend" borrowed his phone, but if true then the "avid cyclist" is not the one "joking".

I hope it isn't true - there would be little consolation for the victims to know that he had been caught, cmpared with not being hit in the first place.

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cidermart [503 posts] 6 years ago
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Obviously as he only drives an Astra he can not afford to get a lawyer to sort out a super injunction to prevent us reading about it  3 . Sounds like a grade 1 idiot to me.

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OldRidgeback [2856 posts] 6 years ago
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Hilarious, I laughed and laughed.

He appears to be just the sort of idiot influenced by one Jeremy Clarkson, a person for whom I have declared my immense dislike elsewhere on this website.

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londonplayer [621 posts] 6 years ago
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Very pleased to hear the matter is in the hands of the police. I hope they throw the book at him.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 6 years ago
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Reminds me of that epic twat James Martin who wrote something similar last year. "The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror"( http://goo.gl/XhOzM )

Absolutely nothing came of that, so I have my doubts about this being taken too far either.

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Chuck [590 posts] 6 years ago
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I thought nothing came of the James Martin thing because it turned out he'd made it up to make himself look big and clever in front of the bigger boys?

If this turns out to have really happened I'm pretty confident it'll come home to roost for him, in some way at least.

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thereverent [455 posts] 6 years ago
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What a complete idiot this Incillin is.

If his mate had used his phone to tweet that then why didn't he delete is straight away when he found it, and then why did he continue sending other ones talking about this?
Richmond Park has plenty of terrible drivers in it speeding and making dangerous overtakes.

I hope the Police make a home visit for him and take into account what he has written about this and his driving generally.

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londonplayer [621 posts] 6 years ago
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He's now deleted his Twitter account. Interesting.

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Velo_Alex [73 posts] 6 years ago
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It appears the abuse has become too much and he's now deleted the account. Highly unlikely the Police will do anything to the idiot anyway. He only 'joked' about injuring two cyclists, not blowing up Nottingham Airport.

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dullard [140 posts] 6 years ago
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mr-andrew

Talking of epic twat, James Martin, did you see the BBC programme depicting his 'participation' in the historic rerun of the Mille Miglia last year? Fabulous event, marvellous machinery, spoiled only by Mr Martin's being in it. Proved himself to be a legendary, fat epic twat. First he stumped up several hundred grand for a beautiful pre-war Maserati (can't blame him there, if you've got the wonga why not) which he then slagged over the first day's motoring and broke while his co-driver (a WOMAN for chrissakes who one suspected was a far better driver than legendary epic twat but who never got a go 'cos James is a Yorkshire MAN and knows better), had to sit a tolerate his puerile antics. He cried on the side of the road because he'd broken his car. I suspect most viewers laughed their bollocks off. A man who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

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Gazablanca [4 posts] 6 years ago
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...

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downfader [213 posts] 6 years ago
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Well having got in today to hear my Uncle and Aunt have witnessed a hit and run (and even persued the driver in their own car, as the old boy who had been flung 10 feet into the air from his own bike was being attended to)... I hope this Twitter-T*** gets a real understanding how how serious this is from the Police.

I doubt his mate was anywhere near his phone. My mates wouldnt let me near theirs. Perhaps he should go and visit someone who has been hit and is now struggling to rebuild their life, do some damn chores for them etc? Get to understand the personal gravitas.

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hairyairey [304 posts] 6 years ago
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If I were picked for jury duty on this case I would be highly skeptical that a friend borrowed the 'phone and tweeted this "for a joke". I make inappropriate jokes from time to time (possibly due to Aspergers or maybe just because I'm tasteless) but I would never make jokes like that.

I am however highly skeptical that the police will do anything unless the media highlight the case.

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skippy [416 posts] 6 years ago
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Idiots come in all shapes and sizes !

Does this prat seriously believe that we believe his retractions ?

CPS and "old bill" have nothing better to do than track down this idiot

WRONG ! First priority for CPS & Police is to find and prosecute HARSHLY this miscreant and see that he not only is removed as a Driver but is detained at "her Majesty's pleasure " for a substantial period and after his free time is spent in a "Rehab unit" assisting victims of road accidents .

Why "martin the cook" was allowed to get away with his comments defies belief ! Wouter is the victim of his job BUT ordinary cyclists should not be the victim of "Stupidity or even careless drivers" !

The Roads photo journo at Torino Team Presentation saw me talking to Wouter and has yet to email the Photos ! Get on the computer TODAY , you promised they would be available tuesday ! Not seen them in the article either !

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gazedo82 [30 posts] 6 years ago
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Why is everyone taking this so seriously? 'They should throw the book at him' and comments like that are ridiculous. This was a flippant comment posted by one of his idiot friends. The cycling community is so unforgiving and quick to get on their high-horse. He cycles himself, lets cut him some slack.  39

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stewieatb [296 posts] 6 years ago
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londonplayer wrote:

Very pleased to hear the matter is in the hands of the police. I hope they throw the book at him.

Interesting. Throw the book at him and charge him with what, exactly?

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Simon_MacMichael [2503 posts] 6 years ago
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gazedo82 wrote:

Why is everyone taking this so seriously? 'They should throw the book at him' and comments like that are ridiculous. This was a flippant comment posted by one of his idiot friends. The cycling community is so unforgiving and quick to get on their high-horse. He cycles himself, lets cut him some slack.  39

Well, that's what he says happened.

Say that in the course of their investigations, the police discover from mobile phone records that it was used in locations a couple of miles apart in the course of a few minutes. Easy enough for them to do.

And suppose that they then look at CCTV footage on entry/exit to the park at the relevant times, and find he's the sole occupant of the vehicle?

I'm not saying they'd go to all that trouble, but if they did, and that turned out to be the case, the 'friend was joking with my mobile' excuse would start to look a bit lame.

As to what they could charge him with - failure to stop and report an accident for starters.

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stewieatb [296 posts] 6 years ago
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What accident? Nobody has come forward to say they were involved in any collision. The evidence for there having been any sort of accident is a Twitter post which he has retracted. That's no evidence at all.

Even if it emerges he was the only one in his car, that's only evidence that he made the Twitter post. It's still easily possible for it to be a sick joke. Having poor taste in humour is not a crime.

Unless someone comes forward to say they were involved in a collision with this guy, there are no charges to be made.