- The death of Celia Ward resulted in pedestrian Auriol Gray being convicted of manslaughter.
- Auriol Gray aggressively confronted motorcyclist Celia Ward, causing her to fall into the path of an oncoming car.
- Gray resented the presence of the cyclist Celia Ward on the sidewalk, which led to Celia Ward’s unforeseen death.
A pedestrian who aggressively confronted an elderly cyclist on the sidewalk, killing her after falling into the path of a vehicle, has been sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter.
The Peterborough Crown Court jury called Auriol Gray territorial over the pavement. They added that Gray resented the presence of the cyclist Celia Ward on the sidewalk, which led to Celia Ward’s unforeseen death.
During Auriol Gray’s trial in February, it was noted that she had behaved in a “hostile and aggressive manner” towards 77-year-old Celia Ward, including yelling and gesturing at her, causing her to fall off her bicycle into the roadway on October 20, 2020 fell.
Gray left the scene before emergency services arrived and went to a supermarket to do her shopping.
Arrested the next day, she claimed Mrs Ward had been cycling “at high speed” and that she was “afraid I might get hit by it”, so “flinched back” with her left arm to protect herself.
At the trial last month, the Cambridgeshire Constabulary was unable to “categorically” determine whether Ms Ward had cycled on a shared-use path.
At a later hearing, the judge said in his sentencing remarks that it was a shared facility which made Auriol Gray’s anger and resentment towards Ms Ward unacceptable.
CCTV footage shared by Cambridgeshire Constabulary showed Gray, who has cerebral palsy and is partially sighted, yelling at Mrs Ward, described by her widower as an “experienced and skilled cyclist”, to “get off the damn curb”.
Miranda Moore KC said Gray plans to appeal the verdict, claiming that “she poses no risk or danger to the public.”
But the judge told Gray, “These actions are not accounted for by disability.”
The investigating officer said this case is a strong reminder to all road users to look after and consider each other.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Ward’s husband David said: “After 53 years of happy marriage, Celia was horribly taken from me, leaving me with only my memories. She was kind, calm, careful, cheerful and skilled in everything she did. Her death has caused me great suffering. We trusted each other, shared the same sense of humor and outlook on life, and enjoyed each other’s company. I miss her terribly.”