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Brakeless BMX boy fined for dangerous cycling after knocking woman unconscious

Teenager fined £100 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to victim

A youth court in Mold, Flintshire, North Wales has fined a 15-year-old male cyclist £100 for dangerous cycling and ordered him to pay £200 compensation to a 56-year-old woman who was left unconscious after he crashed into her while riding a BMX bike which had no brakes.

The incident happened in July near Carewys this year when the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, rounded a bend as he descended on a bridle path.

As he did so, he rode into a group of seven walkers including Michelle Dowsett from Liverpool, who has a holiday caravan in the area, reports BBC News.

While her companions managed to get out of the cyclists’ path, she was catapulted into the air and landed on her face, the impact knocking her unconscious.

Mrs Dowsett spent four days in hospital at Bodelwyddan after suffering facial cuts as well as an injured thumb and abdomen in the incident. Prosecutor Alun Humphreys told the court that she had experienced flashbacks and headaches for several weeks afterwards.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the cyclist tried to pick up his bike and make off, but was prevented from doing so, with defence counsel Dafydd Roberts saying in mitigation that he had been in tears at the scene and had apologised and shown remorse for his actions.

The court heard that the teenager had admitted that he had previously been warned by police about the potential dangers of riding his bike due to the absence of brakes, and that his mother had subsequently confiscated it from him.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, a person is deemed to “riding dangerously” if “the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.”

According to the Pedal Cycle Construction and Use Regulations 1983, bicycles used on the public highway are required to equipped with two brakes, one front and one rear, with the rear wheel counting as a brake in the case of a fixed wheel bike, although it still needs to be fitted with a front brake to be legal.
 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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