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Wheelie cyclist fined £100 for dangerous cycling

Court told that Aiden Orton endangered pedestrians in Norwich city centre

A cyclist who was twice spotted by a police officers pulling wheelies in a pedestrianised part of Norwich city centre has been fined a total of £100 for dangerous cycling.

Aiden Orton, aged 24, pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday to the offences, committed on 5 October and 1 November this year, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

Stacie Cossey, prosecuting, said of the October incident, when Orton was riding along White Lion Street and Gentlemen’s Walk: “He was doing wheelies, with his front wheel reaching the same height as the heads of passing pedestrians.

“He was cautioned by the officer who explained that it was an offence to cycle dangerously, and that he might injure someone else as well as himself.

“To that he replied: ‘I enjoy it’.”

The following month, the same police officer saw him doing “protracted wheelies” as he rode from Gentleman’s Walk along Exchange Street, and “cycling at speed closely to pedestrians.”

Asked in court whether he had anything to say, Orton insisted: “It's really not that dangerous you know. I ride then slow down, I ride and slow down.”

Dangerous cycling is an offence under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which provides:

(1) A person who rides a cycle on a road dangerously is guilty of an offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if)—

(a) the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and

(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.

(3) In subsection (2) above “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.

Sentencing Orton, chair of the bench Cathryn Dobson said: “We are going to fine you for dangerous cycling on two occasions.

“It is reckless, and you were in a busy area of the city which is pedestrianised so the risk to others was higher than usual.”

Besides being fined £50 for each offence, Orton will also have to pay costs of £25 and a £34 victim surcharge.

The court was also told that Orton had been given a conditional discharge in December last year relating to two counts of shoplifting.

He admitted breaching the terms of the conditional discharge, but the magistrates decided to take no further action on that issue.

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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