London

Charlie Alliston trial: Cyclist accused over woman's death gives evidence

Charlie Alliston Image copyright PA
Image caption Charlie Alliston denies manslaughter and causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving

A cyclist accused of killing a woman by ploughing into her on his racing bike has told a court that having a front brake "would have made no difference".

Charlie Alliston, then aged 18, was allegedly going at 18mph when he hit Kim Briggs as she crossed Old Street in Shoreditch, London, in February 2016.

Mr Alliston, who denies manslaughter, was riding a fixed wheel track bike with no front brake at the time.

The crash could have been avoided if one had been fitted, prosecutors say.

Mrs Briggs, a 44-year-old HR consultant, suffered "catastrophic" head injuries and later died in hospital, the trial at the Old Bailey has heard.

Mr Alliston, who is now 20, is said to have shouted at the mother of two as she lay mortally injured, later blaming her for the collision in posts he made online.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Kim Briggs was knocked over in east London in February of last year

He told the court he had had no idea there was a legal requirement for his bike to have a front brake.

"I tried to go around," said Mr Alliston, who alleges Mrs Briggs was using a mobile phone at the time of the collision.

"Having a brake, I wouldn't have had enough time to pull it," he said.

"It was a few split seconds prior to the impact, which caused the impact, so a brake at the time wouldn't have made a difference."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The fixed wheel track bicycle ridden by Charlie Alliston did not have a front brake, jurors were told

Jurors were told that Mr Alliston talked of removing his front brake from a previous bike in a tweet in February 2015, comparing the experience of riding it to being in a "Lucas Brunelle movie".

The court heard that Brunelle is a stunt cyclist who makes videos in which he rides around cities including London "doing dangerous stuff" such as weaving in and out of traffic.

But Mr Alliston denied copying the filmmaker, or that he enjoyed taking risks.

"I wouldn't say I drove recklessly or at any time dangerously," the defendant said.

"At all times I would know what I'm doing and completely responsible for my actions."

He added: "I did not get a kick or enjoyment out of not being safe."

Mr Alliston, from Bermondsey, is also accused of causing bodily harm to Mrs Briggs by "wanton or furious driving", under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.

The trial continues.

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