A motorist who knocked London’s former cycling czar, Andrew Gilligan, off his bike has been sentenced to a 12-month community order including 120 hours of unpaid work after admitting dangerous driving.
Chukwudi Uzorh, 31, from Camden, had also been initially charged with assault in connection with the incident on Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street Station on 4 April 2018.
However, that charge was dropped by the prosecution last month after they accepted his explanation that he had not hit Mr Gilligan on purpose, reports the London Evening Standard.
Gilligan, who worked as London’s cycling commissioner when Boris Johnson was mayor and is now transport advisor to Number 10 Downing Street, had been cycling to Devonshire Square off Bishopsgate when the incident happened.
John Traversi, prosecuting, said: “He was wearing the necessary flashing lights. As he was riding along Bishopsgate, he reached the junction with Liverpool Street and the car in front of him stopped suddenly at a red light. His bike collided with the back of the vehicle driven by the defendant.”
Gilligan approached the driver, but as a result of what was described as the motorist’s “ill-tempered tone … he decided his best interests were served by riding away,” Mr Traversi continued.
“But after 10 metres or so he felt something hit the back of his bicycle, bringing him to the ground.”
Uzorh, a jewellery maker based in Hatton Garden, drove off, but a passer-by chased after him and the driver, who claimed he had “panicked,” stopped in a street close by.
“He said he had been speaking on the telephone, hands-free, to his girlfriend,” Mr Traversi added.
“He was also looking at the SatNav to find a convenient location to meet her.”
Uzorh told police he “panicked” after the crash, but came to his senses shortly after driving away.
At the time of the incident, Gilligan said that he believed that Uzorh “was not intending to do my health any good.”
He said: “He looked rather threatening so I thought I should cycle off. He revved up and went straight into the back of me.
“I was knocked off my bike and lying on the ground, bleeding. I could see him racing away. Police were on the scene very quickly and arrested the guy.”
Gilligan added: “I have tyre marks on my shoes. It could have been so much worse. I am very, very shaken — I was very close to being paralysed.”
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.