Grieving husband calls for change in law after cyclist is cleared of manslaughter

The grieving husband of a woman who was killed when a ‘remorseless’ courier rammed into her on an illegal bike has called for new laws to tackle “irresponsible and reckless” cycling as he paid a heartbreaking tribute to his late wife.

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.

He was cleared of manslaughter but convicted of “wanton and furious driving” on Wednesday following a ground-breaking trial.

Prosecutors took the unprecedented step of bringing a manslaughter charge due to the unusually grave circumstances of the case.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, widower Matthew Briggs made an impassioned plea for a change in the law, and the attitude of some cyclists.

He said: “I am now determined to do what I can to prevent others from going through the heartache we have had to bear following Kim’s needless death.

“This is not a witch hunt against all cyclists (I, myself cycle in London), only the irresponsible and reckless”.

“We all have to share these imperfect streets, let’s do so with care and due regard for each other”.

Matt Briggs’ wife Kim died as a result of her injuries (Rex)

Jurors took more than 12 hours to find Alliston not guilty of manslaughter but convicted him of a lesser offence under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC said she was considering a prison sentence, and added: “I have not seen one iota of remorse from Mr Alliston at all, at any stage.”

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.

Following the conclusion of the trial on Wednesday Matthew Briggs paid tribute to his late wife, vowing not to live his life filled with anger. He said he would remember her “not through the lens of how she died, or through this trial, but for being the beautiful, fun loving woman who adored her children and who lived her life to the full.”

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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.”

Mr Briggs said it was important to him that Alliston had conceded this was a lie. “We now know categorically that Kim was not using her phone at the time”, he said.

“I am now determined to do what I can to prevent others from going through the heartache we have had to bear following Kim’s needless death”.

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