Search

Old Street cycle death trial: Jurors urged to ‘put aside prejudice’ as they retire

PUBLISHED: 16:15 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 21 August 2017

Charlie Alliston, 20, outside the Old Bailey on Monday. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Charlie Alliston, 20, outside the Old Bailey on Monday. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Jurors in the Charlie Alliston bicycle death trial this afternoon began deliberations – after being urged by the judge to “put aside feelings of prejudice”.

Matthew Briggs, husband of Kim Briggs, outside the Old Bailey. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA WireMatthew Briggs, husband of Kim Briggs, outside the Old Bailey. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Mr Alliston, 20, denies the manslaughter of Kim Briggs, as well as causing actual bodily harm by “wanton or furious driving”. Alliston, 20, was cycling in Old Street on February 12 last year when he collided with mum-of-two Mrs Briggs, 44.

He was said to be travelling at up to 14 mph when he collided with her. Jurors heard Alliston was riding a “fixie” or fixed-gear bike with no front brake – which is illegal on UK roads. He allegedly shouted at her to “get out of the way” twice before their heads smashed together.

After summing up, Judge Wendy Joseph told the Old Bailey jury: “It’s hard to think of a case that’s more likely to rouse your emotions. A young man who was 18 at the time. A woman in her 40s with her life ahead of her.

“Put to one side feelings of emotion, feelings of sympathy, feelings of revulsion, feelings of prejudice.”

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

In his closing speech before the jury was sent out, Mark Wyeth, defending Alliston, questioned the manslaughter charge. He said: “I ask as a matter of common sense and looking across all the evidence: is this really manslaughter? Really?

“We’ve had an eloquent speech from [prosecutor] Mr [Duncan] Penny, we’ve had mood music all around this case and, yes, it’s a tragedy for the Briggs family. It’s also a tragedy for the Alliston family.”

“The counsel of perfection that the prosecution put forward is so complete [that] if you reversed the outcome – if Mr Alliston went over the handlebars, had fractured his skull and died and Mrs Briggs got up and dusted herself off – what’s to stop her from being prosecuted for manslaughter on the approach the prosecution take, because she should not have been there?”

It is accepted that Mrs Briggs stepped backwards into Alliston’s path while crossing the street.

Kim Briggs died days after the collision in Old Street. Picture: Met PoliceKim Briggs died days after the collision in Old Street. Picture: Met Police

My Wyeth added: “I’m not criticising Mrs Briggs.”

He also suggested it was unlikely that a driver in Alliston’s position would face the same charge: “If you drove your car really dangerously and at very high speed, you might get prosecuted for what’s called gross negligence manslaughter. You might.

“But this defendant is not getting prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter. He is getting prosecuted for unlawful act manslaughter. As drivers, the prospects you would be prosecuted for unlawful act manslaughter are very slender.”

He added Mrs Briggs had not used the pedestrian crossing 30 feet away from where the pair collided and Alliston had right of way.

Kim Briggs died following the collision. Picture: Met Police/PA WireKim Briggs died following the collision. Picture: Met Police/PA Wire

“This is not a case of somebody jumping the lights,” he said. “This is not a case of an approach speed on this bike that was illegal. It’s a 30mph area and the hazards that were in that road were not of Mr Alliston’s making.”

Court reporting by Press Association

Latest Hackney Stories

15:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh says he is very happy at the Brisbane Road club – despite being linked with the AFC Wimbledon managerial role.

13:00

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh admits it was a hard-fought game but praises his side for coming from behind to beat Bromley 3-1 and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches.

12:14

London Lions moved into the semi-finals of the BBL Cup with their second win over Worcester Wolves at the weekend.

12:04

Clapton boss Jonny Fowell says he always expected a tough challenge as his side fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat against in-form Saffron Walden Town.

10:00

Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

In Michelle Fredua-Mensah’s Haggerston home sits a large silver trophy and a giant, sparkling tiara.

16:04

A young entrepreneur from Homerton has been recognised by the Prime Minister for his work improving opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds.

10:33

A 20-year-old killed himself after his family had urged professionals to take action over his mental health, and neighbours had raised concerns with Hackney Council, an inquest heard on Friday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Former teacher Steve shares his experiences as a foster carer for teenagers, from dealing with some of their more challenging behaviour, to the rewards of seeing a child develop into a happy and healthy adult

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists