Dalston e-bike death: Cyclist denies careless driving after death of Sakine Cihan

Sakine Cihan.

Sakine Cihan. - Credit: Archant

A cyclist accused of killing a pedestrian while riding an electric bicycle in Kingsland High Street was travelling more than 10mph over the speed limit, a court has heard.

The scene in Kingsland Road after the crash. Picture: David Peat

The scene in Kingsland Road after the crash. Picture: David Peat - Credit: Archant

Thomas Hanlon, 32, is accused of causing the death of Sakine Cihan by careless driving on August 28 2018 as she crossed the A10 in Dalston.

Sakine, 56, died in hospital 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: "The vehicle that Mr Hanlon was riding was fitted with a motor that could propel the vehicle at a much greater speed.

"Indeed, on approach to the collision he was travelling in the range of 30 on a road that is limited to 20.

"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."

Although Hanlon's bike used a battery rather than an engine, the court heard it is classed as a motorcycle rather than an electrically-assisted pedal cycle because it could travel more than the legal 15.5mph limit.

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The court heard witness Raymond Murphy was also cycling along Kingsland High Street at the time of the collision.

Mr Rasiah said: "He described riding along approaching the station and becoming aware of a bike travelling very quickly past him, but heading in the same direction as him. He recalls thinking 'Jesus, that's fast'."

A few moments later, Mr Rasiah said the fellow cyclist "suddenly saw arms and legs everywhere, flying in the air".

In a statement, Mr Murphy said he thought Hanlon was travelling at around 20mph and went to help after the collision, saying he could not get a response from Sakine.

Reading Mr Murphy's statement, Mr Rasiah said: "It struck me that it was going way too quickly for a normal electric bicycle."

A second witness, Joshua Stubbs, said Sakine was bleeding from the 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."

The court heard that in interview, Hanlon admitted leaving the scene but said he had no time to swerve as Sakine crossed the road unexpectedly.

Quoting from Hanlon's police interview, Mr Rasiah said: "She rushed out in front of me to cross and she didn't even look at me."

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

Hanlon, of Queen's Drive, Finsbury Park, 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 that 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.