Auriol Gray, 49, was walking on the pavement when 77-year-old Celia Ward passed him on her bike. Petersborough Crown Court heard in its report that Gray knocked the elderly woman in anger. According to the court, the pedestrian asked the cyclist to “get off the bad pavement”.
Within seconds, Ward, a retired midwife, ducks down the street. Surveillance footage showed Gray, who has cerebral palsy, raise his arm, causing Ward to lose his balance.
With fatal consequences: As she falls, Ward gets caught in the tracks of a car that can no longer stop. For them, any help comes too late: Arriving at the scene of the accident, rescue workers can only determine that she is dead.
As rescuers rushed to the scene, Gray fled on foot to a nearby Sainsbury’s to buy groceries.
During the investigation, Gray told officers he was visually impaired and was “scared” of the bike on the sidewalk. She “accidentally” raised her hand.
Gray was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday. As quoted by the Daily Mail, his lawyer announced that he would appeal because there was “no malicious intent”. A parole officer also insisted that Gray would be at risk if he was incarcerated.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dollard said: “This is a difficult and tragic case. Auriole Gray’s reaction to Celia being on a bike was completely blown out of proportion.”
He believes the verdict is a stark reminder that “all road users should be careful and cautious”.