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Court had been told that tinting on windows reduced driver's visibility to 17 per cent of what it should have been...

A motorist from Surrey who was alleged to have opened his car door in the path of a cyclist without looking, causing him to be killed under the wheels of a bus behind him, has been acquitted of manslaughter at the Old Bailey, reports the BBC.

The victim, 25-year-old Sam Harding, had been due to move in with his girlfriend on the day he died in August last year in the incident on Holloway Road, north London.

Kenan Aydogdu, aged 32 of Hindhead, Surrey had denied the charge of manslaughter at his trial, in which the prosecution maintained that visibility from the Audi car he had bought a month earlier had been reduced to 17 per cent of what it should have been after he applied tinting film to the windows.

The verdict has been returned on the same day that the lorry driver in the Mary Bowers case was found not guilty of dangerous driving, but guilty of careless driving, in connection with the incident last November that left the Times journalist with life-changing injuries.

 

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.

24 comments

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road slapper [87 posts] 3 years ago
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£80 fine and 3 points is it.....  14

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Ad Hynkel [90 posts] 3 years ago
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A jury of his peers...

You can imagine it in the jury room: "If I knock someone off their bike, even if it's by opening my car door and they get crushed I can be done for manslaughter. No thanks" On you go Mr Aydogdu, let's not talk about this again shall we?

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cidermart [486 posts] 3 years ago
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Would you get away with donning sunglasses and pushing random people under vehicles???? Apparently so. F#!king disgraceful the jury should be ashamed of themselves.

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Actium [38 posts] 3 years ago
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While I don't know the full details I can't help thinking of all-white juries in the deep south acquiting white defendants for racially motivated hate crimes. I wonder how many of the jurors are regular cyclists.

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 3 years ago
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Aydogdu - unfortunate name....

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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Why was the bus driver driving so close behind the cyclist? Just a question...

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 3 years ago
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londonplayer wrote:

Why was the bus driver driving so close behind the cyclist? Just a question...

That is a very good point. The aspiration of the Highway Code - leaving the same amount of space when overtaking as you would for a car - would mean that the cyclist would have space to fall into without ending up under the wheels of he bus.

I do like to think that I wouldn't suffer the same fate. Having had two accidents from riding too close to parked cars, I now leave a large gap between me and them, even though it makes some following drivers irate.

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IanPerry [7 posts] 3 years ago
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Opening a car door on a stationary vehicle must never become a criminal offence. Where would you draw the line on actions?

Humans, have always, and will always make errors. We need to design our environment for this (note: Sustainable Safety/Go Dutch).

Sadly, too many read this, and attack the individual, rather than stop to think about the human designed environment.

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villageidiot [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Why did the prosecution cloud the issue with the tinted window stuff? The guy got doored because the defendant "opened his car door in the path of a cyclist WITHOUT LOOKING". Another sad day. I wonder what grounds the Jury gave for acquital?

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Kebab Meister [12 posts] 3 years ago
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Would the jury have arrived at the same verdict had the car opened onto another car causing fatalities?

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paulfg42 [382 posts] 3 years ago
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Disgusting decision. Flies in the face of the evidence provided by passengers on the bus.

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Peter531 [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Because cyclists don't really matter

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crazy-legs [704 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Opening a car door on a stationary vehicle must never become a criminal offence. Where would you draw the line on actions?

It already IS an offence and quite rightly so.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1986/1078/regulation/105/made
The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (reg 105)

The guy opened his door and, through his negligence, caused a series of actions that resulted in someone's death. You can argue all you want about whether the cyclist should/shouldn't have been riding where he was and we'll never know the exact facts about why the cyclist was at that precise point in the road but the crux is that the motorist is at fault for
a) having illegal windows and reduced visibility and
b) opening the door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person. (wording from the Law linked to above).

The bus driver is probably guilty of careless driving by being so close behind that he couldn't stop.

Except that cos it's a cyclist, it's quite alright to go round maiming and killing them as already proved many times over in the UK.  2

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Peter531 [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Another appalling decision - the perpetrator deliberately obscures his and the cyclist's vision; cyclist gets killed; Audi owner of no fixed abode (!) gets slap on wrist.

What would have happened if cyclist had been carrying a Mark Rothko?

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AlexStriplight [75 posts] 3 years ago
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On what possible basis could this guy be acquitted? There were witnesses plus CCTV from the bus and he's impaired his vision by darkening his windows. Open and shut (no pun intended), surely? An absolute disgrace.

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BBB [295 posts] 3 years ago
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The idea of a bunch of random strangers called Jury deciding about other peoples' lives is utterly ridiculous.

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antonio [1103 posts] 3 years ago
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On one of our club members being doored, the driver just laughed and said it was not his fault, our quick thinking secretary told the grounded lad to stay down while an ambulance was called knowing the police have a duty to attend. The officer wiped the smile off the drivers face with the option a being charged or taking the drivers awareness course. Our member was injured but not too seriously.

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psychle [21 posts] 3 years ago
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Sadly, too many read this, and attack the individual, rather than stop to think about the human designed environment.[/quote]

The environment didn't tint the moron's windows so that he couldn't even see his mirror and therefore had to open his door.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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It is a wrong decidion on the part of the judge. I'm not sure how this decision was arrived at, but it was the wrong one

I believe the cyclist was in a cycle lane and bein doored threw him onto the path of the bus, which suggests that the bus was not following too close.

Perhaps more details will be available to explain this point.

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Sudor [184 posts] 3 years ago
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The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, told the jury: "This is a case where there are no winners. Everyone is a loser."

Such an insulting crass comment from a High Court Judge in the circumstances of the death of Mr Harding who, with his family and friends are losers here - (oh not forgetting the needs for justice which has also lost out).
I don't expect the unbelievably stupid Kenan Aydogdu feels he's a loser .

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TiNuts [97 posts] 3 years ago
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And in the week in which Wlodzimierz Umaniec was jailed for two years for defacing a Rothko. Yet another example of how, when it comes to road fatalities, the legal system in this country is truly useless. A shameful reflection on the succession of self serving buffoons who we've had governing us for as long as I can remember.

And there rests the case for armed insurrection........

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SpamSpamSpam [20 posts] 3 years ago
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Just an accident, could have happened to anyone, jailing him won't bring the cyclist back,...

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Gergaskman [2 posts] 3 years ago
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 7 The judge appears to have seen the issue of tinted windows as a mere detail. I have long been frustrated at the growing number of cars with tinted windows because you can't judge the alertness or demeanour of the driver - for 'defensive' cyclists a great tool for riding safety.
It's also good for other drivers, pedestrians and motorcyclists so I don't see how it's even controversial. Road safety or car cosmetics? Duh!

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Gergaskman [2 posts] 3 years ago
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My view is tinted windows is a problem not because the killer couldn't see out but because a defensive cyclist couldn't see IN. With clear glass you can see someone in the car, maybe anticipate they will open the door.
To tint windows excessively is against the Law, so is clearly an aggravating factor.