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.

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.