Police have released a CCTV image of a cyclist who knocked a London pedestrian over, leaving her scarred for life, and who is said to have turned and smiled as he rode away. The image has been made public after the victim urged police on Twitter to take action.
Andrea McVeigh, who lives in Bermondsey, was walking to a Sainsbury’s Local supermarket on Tower Bridge Road when she was knocked to the ground after the man, said to be aged about 30, crashed into her.
The social media manager sustained facial scarring, a broken nose, dislocated finger and head trauma as a result of the incident, which happened at around 6pm on the evening of Tuesday 14 April.
She enlisted the help of her local MP, Simon Hughes, to put pressure on the Metropolitan Police Service to receive CCTV images of the cyclist taken from a nearby apartment building.
Ms McVeigh gave a detailed description of the incident the day after it happened in a forum post on the London SE1 website:
I was walking to Sainsbury's when the cyclist, bypassing the traffic queued at the traffic lights, hit me from the left at high speed – on the pavement, in a very sudden and violent impact. I was thrown onto the pavement, face first, with the cyclist and bike landing on my back. My baby finger was sticking out at a right angle and my head was bleeding profusely, I thought my nose was broken too. There was (my) blood all over the pavement and I was probably concussed.
The police and an ambulance were called, and the cyclist knew this, but on the pretence of going to lock up his bike down the side of Sainsbury's, he cycled off through Bermondsey Square, across the road and through the graveyard (with my husband running after him shouting at him to stop). The cyclist turned around and smiled as he sped off.
She was given first aid in a nearby apartment block before being taken to St Thomas’s Hospital, where initially it was feared that she had sustained a fractured neck although thankfully that turned out not to be the case.
Source: Andrea McVeigh on Twitter
After engaging with local police on Twitter, including posting pictures of her injuries, borough commander, Chief Superintendent Zander Gibson, asked officers to review CCTV footage.
In an appeal launched this morning, he said: "On Monday this incident was brought to my attention during a Twitter chat. It must have been an awful encounter for the victim, both physically and emotionally and she has my heartfelt sympathy for what she went through. We sent an officer to the scene and they completed an investigation.
"There was a delay in following this investigation up but I am confident we are now taking appropriate steps to identify the person responsible.
"The vast majority of cyclists are decent honest hardworking people but in this case I think the person responsible for knocking the victim over needs to explain their actions to us. I'd encourage them to get in touch at the earliest opportunity."
Police Sergeant David Hunt, Cathedrals Safer Neighbourhoods Team, added: "We are keen to trace the man pictured in the image.
"The victim sustained significant facial injuries and If not for her husband and a member of the public stopping to help she would have been left on that footpath. I would encourage anyone who recognises him to contact us immediately."
Ahead of police launching their appeal, Ms McVeigh told the London Evening Standard: “I need to know that he’ll get caught and face up to what he’s done. I want all cyclists to be more careful in future and not break the law by cycling on the pavement.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get over this and the forehead scar will be a daily lifetime reminder of what happened.”
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.