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Old Street cycle death trial: Having brakes on bike ‘wouldn’t have made a difference’, claims cyclist in dock

PUBLISHED: 11:50 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 17 August 2017

Charlie Alliston, 20, arrives at the Old Bailey, where he is accused of running over and killing mother-of-two Kim Briggs in Old Street last year. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Charlie Alliston, 20, arrives at the Old Bailey, where he is accused of running over and killing mother-of-two Kim Briggs in Old Street last year. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

A young cyclist accused of killing a mother-of-two by hitting her on a racing bike today told jurors having brakes on his bike “wouldn’t have made a difference”.

Charlie Alliston arrives at the Old Bailey. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire Charlie Alliston arrives at the Old Bailey. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Charlie Alliston, 20, was allegedly riding at 18mph on a fixed gear bicycle when he collided with Kim Briggs as she crossed Old Street on February 12 last year.

The 44-year-old HR consultant, who had been on her lunch break, suffered “catastrophic” head injuries and died in hospital a week later.

“It was the few split-seconds prior to impact that caused the collision,” Alliston said at the Old Bailey this morning.

“A brake at the time wouldn’t have made a difference.

The fixed-gear track bicycle allegedly being ridden by Charlie Alliston when he crashed into 44-year-old Kim Briggs as she crossed Old Street last year. Picture: CPS/PA Wire The fixed-gear track bicycle allegedly being ridden by Charlie Alliston when he crashed into 44-year-old Kim Briggs as she crossed Old Street last year. Picture: CPS/PA Wire

“After the collision I just jumped straight back up to my feet. I turned around and saw what happened and just went blank.”

It is is not legal to ride a fixed gear bike, or “fixie”, without a front brake on the road.

The rider, then aged 18, is said to have shouted at Mrs Briggs as she lay injured, later blaming her for the collision in posts online.

Prosecutors claim he could have avoided a collision had a brake been fitted. But Alliston, now 20, claims he had no idea it was a legal requirement for a front brake.

Tragedy: The scene of the crash in Old Street, pictured in a file image (Picture: Google StreetView) Tragedy: The scene of the crash in Old Street, pictured in a file image (Picture: Google StreetView)

“I tried to go around,” he said. “Having a brake, I wouldn’t have had enough time to pull it.”

Alliston, from Bermondsey, is on trial at the Old Bailey where he denies manslaughter and causing bodily harm to Mrs Briggs by “wanton or furious driving” under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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