A Norfolk cyclist has been convicted of causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving following a fatal collision with a pedestrian last year. David Tilley was riding the wrong way down a one-way street when he hit 80-year-old Sally Coutya. She never recovered and died five months later.
The incident occurred on Louden Road, Cromer, on April 15.
North Norfolk News reports that Coutya was about to cross when she was knocked to the ground.
She suffered a head injury and Tilley remained at the scene to help.
Judge Anthony Bate said Tilley had thought the victim was waiting at the roadside only for her to then step out.
Matthew McNiff, representing Tilley, said the bike had been roadworthy.
Coutya was treated at the scene and taken to hospital but never fully recovered.
In an impact statement made before her death, she said her life had been ruined by Tilley riding the wrong way down a one-way street and she called for him to be prosecuted.
McNiff said his client did not seek to avoid responsibility and agreed with the victim’s view. He added that since the incident, Tilley no longer cycled.
“He has co-operated and recognises he should be punished,” he said.
Tilley admitted causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving.
Sentencing, Bate accepted that he had made an error of judgement when he cycled the wrong way down a one way street.
He handed Tilley a nine month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered him to do 200 hours unpaid work.
In 2017, cyclist Charlie Alliston was convicted of causing bodily harm through wanton and furious driving in connection with the death of pedestrian Kim Briggs.
In the wake of Alliston’s conviction, Briggs’ husband Matthew campaigned for the creation of new offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling.
“This case has clearly demonstrated that there is a gap in the law when it comes to dealing with causing death or serious injury by dangerous cycling,” he explained.
“To have to rely on either manslaughter at one end, or a Victorian law that doesn’t even mention causing death at the other end tells us that there is a gap. The fact that what happened to Kim is rare is not a reason for there to be no remedy.”
The Government subsequently launched a consultation on the matter.
In January, a private member’s bill to change existing legislation to introduce the offences of dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling received its first reading in the House of Lords.