E-bike cyclist killed pedestrian while ‘travelling 10mph over speed limit’ in London, court told

Samuel Lovett

An e-bike cyclist accused of killing a pedestrian by careless driving was travelling more than 10mph over the speed limit, a court has heard.

Thomas Hanlon allegedly hit Sakine Cihan with his bike as she crossed Kingsland High Street in Dalston, east London on 28 August, 2018.

Cihan was rushed to hospital but died the next day as a result of a “catastrophic” head injury, in what is believed to be the first death of a pedestrian after a collision with an e-bike in the UK.

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah told the Old Bailey: “On August 28, 2018, a lady in her 50s called Ms Sakine Cihan was out near the shops in Dalston when she crossed Kingsland High Street, where she was struck by and knocked over by a motorised cycle.

“She sustained in the course of the collision a serious head injury.”

Mr Hanlon’s bike was classed as a motorbike, rather than an electrically-assisted pedal cycle, because it could travel quicker than the legal 15.5mph limit – despite being fitted with a battery rather than an engine.

At the time of the collision, the 32-year-old was travelling at speeds of 30mph on a road limited to 20mph, jurors were told.

Mr Rasiah continued: “The vehicle that Mr Hanlon was riding was fitted with a motor that could propel the vehicle at a much greater speed.

“In short, the prosecution case against him was that he was driving without due care and attention and that carelessness was a cause of the collision and the death of Ms Cihan.”

Witness Raymond Murphy, who had been cycling along Kingsland High Street at the time of the collision, provided a statement, read to the court by Mr Rasiah, in which he said the accused had been “travelling very quickly”.

“It struck me that it was going way too quickly for a normal electric bicycle,” Mr Murphy’s statement read. After the collision, he went to help Ms Cihan but could not get a response, the court heard.

A second witness, Joshua Stubbs, said Cihan was bleeding from her mouth, nose and possibly her ears.

Mr Rasiah quoted Mr Stubbs as he told jurors: “It looked like their heads made contact then the cyclist fell to the ground.

“After a few seconds the cyclist got up and looked dazed and confused, the lady lay motionless on the road.”

Mr Hanlon admitted to leaving the scene but said he had no time to swerve as Cihan crossed the road unexpectedly.

“She rushed out in front of me to cross and she didn’t even look at me,” Mr Hanlon was quoted as saying during his police interview.

Mr Rasiah told jurors the lights at the crossing were green for traffic but he said the speed Mr Hanlon was travelling at amounted to driving without due care and attention.

Mr Hanlon, of Queen’s Drive, east London, denies charges of causing death while uninsured and causing death while unlicensed, as well as causing death by careless driving.

The prosecution and defence agree Hanlon did not have a licence or insurance for a motorbike, but he is contesting the first two charges because they require a fault in the driving, which contributed in a more than a minimal way to the death.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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