Cyclist who killed mum-of-two says having front brake 'wouldn't have made a difference’

<em>Charlie Alliston knocked down and killed Kim Briggs on an illegal bike (PA)</em>
Charlie Alliston knocked down and killed Kim Briggs on an illegal bike (PA)

A cyclist accused of knocking down and killing a mother-of-two on an illegal bike told jurors it “wouldn’t have made a difference” if he had a front brake.

Charlie Alliston, 20, collided with HR consultant Kim Briggs, 44, in busy OId Street, London, on February 12 last year.

Mrs Briggs died from her “catastrophic” injuries a week later, having suffered two skull fractures.

Alliston, who was 18 at the time, was riding a black “Planet X” fixed wheel track bike, which illegally had no front brake, jurors heard.

Expert tests conducted afterwards found if the bike had a front brake, he would have been able to stop and avoid the collision, it is said.

Jurors heard he has no previous convictions or cautions.

He described himself as a “confident and competent” cyclist, but was unaware of the regulations that fixed wheel bikes needed a front brake.

<em>Alliston said a front brake would not have made a difference (Rex)</em>
Alliston said a front brake would not have made a difference (Rex)

Alliston said he had six to eight months’ experience as a courier before the crash, using a different fixed wheel bike.

On the day of the collision, he said he was on his way to get food for himself and his girlfriend from Shoreditch after his planned work for a scaffolding firm was called off.

Alliston said: “I was fully functioning as normal. I did have work on that day but it was called off, so instead of going to work I just went out on my bike.”

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He said there was no pressure on him to be anywhere particular.

Alliston continued: “I was cycling at a safe and reasonable speed. I was capable at the time of controlling.

“I saw not too much traffic in front. On the other side there was a constant flow of traffic.”

<em>The 20-year-old denies manslaughter (Rex)</em>
The 20-year-old denies manslaughter (Rex)

Alliston said he first saw Mrs Biggs before he came out of the box junction and shouted twice to warn her.

He added: “At the time of the second shout I was coming through the yellow box junction.

“By the time she had crossed and come out of my path, as I was coming down the road she was moving into the other lane, and that’s when I did shout, if in case for whatever reason she was to return.

“At the time I did shout a second I did adjust my speed. I wasn’t going at the speed I came into it.”

Asked why he said: “To slow down if for any reason I was going to need to come to a stop. If I would have had a brake on the bike at the time.

“It was the few split seconds prior to the actual impact that caused the collision. So a brake at the time wasn’t really going to…

“It wouldn’t have made a difference.”

<em>Matt Briggs’ wife Kim died as a result of her injuries (Rex)</em>
Matt Briggs’ wife Kim died as a result of her injuries (Rex)

Asked if he thought the crash still would have happened, he said: “100%.”

In the days afterwards, Alliston posted online about the crash and tried to blame his victim, the court heard.

He is said to have written: “I feel bad due to the seriousness of her injuries but I can put my hand up and say this is not my fault.

“People either think they are invincible or have zero respect for cyclists.

Alliston, of Bermondsey, south east London, denies manslaughter and causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving.

The trial continues.