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Fixed gear bike did not have front brake

A court has heard that a cyclist who hit and killed a pedestrian while riding a fixed-gear bike would have been able to avoid the collision had it been fitted with brakes.

Charlie Alliston, 20, is accused of manslaughter over the death of Kim Briggs, 44, who died after being hit while crossing Old Street in London on February 12 last year. He has also been charged with causing bodily harm by “wanton or furious driving”.

He denies the charges.

The Guardian reports that Alliston had been riding a black Planet X carbon-frame fixed-gear bike, which is not legal on the road unless a front brake is added.

He was said to have been travelling at around 20mph and prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said that if the bike had been fitted with a brake, the cyclist would have been able to avoid the collision.

Alliston is alleged to have twice shouted at Briggs to “get out of the way” before the crash which resulted in their heads colliding. Briggs suffered brain injuries, including two skull fractures and died a week later.

In a statement to court, eyewitness David Callan said: "I had my head down looking at something on my phone when I heard a shout. It was a loud shout and sounded like a male voice conveying urgency like a warning.

"It made me look up immediately just in time to see a collision between a pedestrian and a cyclist and the cyclist was on the south side heading in a westerly direction.

"The pedestrian was not using the crossing and the collision occurred approximately 30 feet after the crossing. The cyclist flew through the air as the pedestrian fell at the point of impact.

"The cyclist clattered to the road further down the road but quickly sprang to their feet and shouted something at the pedestrian before taking a step towards them. The cyclist froze after taking that initial step seeing the pedestrian was still lying on the ground."

Alliston is alleged to have posted a series of comments on news stories about the crash in subsequent days, claiming that Briggs had been on her phone and that she had “stopped dead” in his path.

Two days after the crash, he posted: "I refuse to accept any responsibility in this whatsoever... It's not my fault people think they are invincible or just have zero respect for cyclists.

"What makes it worse is that, even when people were helping her, her phone was going off continuously with texts showing she was on it at the time.

"If you value your mobile phone more than your life maybe this is the type of wake up call you need."

In another, he wrote: "I won't say she deserved it, it was her fault. Yes it was her fault, but no she did not deserve it. Hopefully it is a lesson to be learned on her behalf."

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