A cyclist who ploughed into a mother-of-two, who later died of her injuries, has been cleared of manslaughter but convicted of “wanton and furious driving” following a ground-breaking trial.
Charlie Alliston, then 18, was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes before he crashed into 44-year-old Kim Briggs as she crossed the street in London in February last year.
Prosecutors took the unprecedented step of bringing a manslaughter charge due to the unusually grave circumstances of the case.
Following an Old Bailey trial, jurors took more than 12 hours to find Alliston not guilty of manslaughter but convicted him of a lesser offence of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.
The former bike courier, wearing a top with “Anti Social” on it, had been on his way to buy food for his girlfriend when he crashed into Mrs Briggs during her lunch break.
As she crossed the capital’s Old Street, he twice shouted for her to get out of the way but failed to stop or avoid the head-on collision.
He sprang up and continued to shout at his victim as she lay in the road with catastrophic head injuries. Mrs Briggs died in hospital a week later.
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Alliston criticised Mrs Briggs and claimed she was responsible for the crash in a string of posts on social media in the days that followed.
In a comment on an online news article, he claimed he had shouted out to her but she “ignored me”, looked back at her phone then “stopped dead” in his path.
He wrote: “I feel bad due to the seriousness of her injuries but I can put my hands up and say this is not my fault.”
On an internet forum for fixed-wheel bike enthusiasts, he later described how he twice warned her to “get the f*** outta my way”.
He wrote: “We collided pretty hard, our heads hit together, hers went into the floor and ricocheted into mine.
“It is a pretty serious incident so I won’t bother saying oh she deserved it, it’s her fault. Yes it is her fault but no she did not deserve it.
“Hopefully, it is a lesson learned on her behalf, it shouldn’t have happened like it did but what more can I say.”
He complained: “Everyone is quick to judge and help the so-called victim but not the other person in the situation, ie me.
“It all happened so fast and even at a slow speed there was nothing I could do. I just wish people would stop making judgments.
“It’s not my fault people either think they are invincible or have zero respect for cyclists.”