Charlie Alliston was 18-years-old when he knocked down and killed a pedestrian on a busy London street. He was riding a “fixie” – a fixed-gear track bicycle with no front brake, which, without modification, is illegal on the road.
On February 12 last year, Kim Briggs, a 44-year-old mother of two from Lewisham in South London, was on her lunch break and crossing Old Street in East London when she was hit by Alliston, who was going nearly 20 mph. Alliston allegedly shouted at Briggs to “get out of the way” twice before their heads smashed together. Kim Briggs suffered brain injuries including two skull fractures, and died one week later.
According to the Guardian, the court heard how Alliston blamed the victim, saying people have “zero respect.”
On seeing a newspaper report about the accident, Alliston posted a comment online claiming he tried to warn Kim but she had ignored him and “stopped dead” in his path.
“I feel bad due to the seriousness of her injuries but I can put my hand up and say this is not my fault.”
He then went on to describe how their heads collided and hers “ricocheted” into his.
“It is a pretty serious incident so I won’t bother saying she deserved it. It was her fault but she did not deserve it.”
He then stated that Kim had been on her mobile phone, complaining, “Everyone is quick to judge and help the so-called victim but not the other person in the situation.”
“It all happened so fast and even at a slow speed there was nothing I could do. I just wish people would stop making judgments. People either think they are invincible or have zero respect for cyclists.”
Kim Briggs’ widower, Matthew, watched as jurors at the Old Bailey trial were shown CCTV footage of the collision.
Jurors were told that, at the time of the accident, Alliston had been riding a black Planet X carbon-frame fixed-gear cycle, a bike more commonly seen racing at the Olympic velodrome. Such bikes used by the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott can only legally be taken on to the streets if fitted with a front brake.
Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said, “If Alliston’s bike had proper brakes he would have been able to avoid the collision.”
Penny also pointed out that Alliston had purchased the bicycle in January, 2016, for £470 ($600) to use on a track, but in reality, he only used it on the road.
“The crown suggests that what the defendant was doing – riding a fixed-wheel bicycle without a front brake through a busy area of central London at nearly 20 mph at lunchtime when hazards, such as pedestrians stepping out into the road, might well be expected to occur in front of him requiring him to react – was dangerous. What he was doing was such that all sober and reasonable people, knowing the circumstances as he knew them to be, would inevitably recognize it subjected other people to the risk of some harm resulting therefrom.”
The trial continues.
Charlie Alliston is now 20-years-old. He has denied a charge under the 1861 Offenses Against the Person Act of causing bodily harm to Kim Briggs by wanton or furious driving. In a legal first, he also faces the additional charge of the manslaughter of Kim Briggs.
[Featured Image by Christian Mueller/Shutterstock]