Shocking violence towards cyclist sparks Met man-hunt

Still of the man captured from the cyclist's helmet cam

Shocking violence towards cyclist sparks Met man-hunt

The police have released footage of a man who aggressively pushed a female cyclist off her bike into the road in Tower Hamlets, London. The attack was captured on the woman’s helmet cam and has since gone viral.

A shocking display of violence and aggression is evident in the release of helmet cam footage sent to the Met police earlier this summer. In the space of just 18 seconds, a female cyclist sees a pedestrian walking into her path, and asks him not to knock her off her bike. The pedestrian then runs after the cyclist, and starts shouting at the cyclist before pushing her over into busy Sidney Street, in Tower Hamlets.

Paul Kitson from CTC, the national cycling charity and Solicitor with Slater + Gordon says:

When a pedestrian deliberately pushes a cyclist off a bike this is a criminal act."
Paul Kitson

"Whilst the film clip is shocking this is unfortunately not an isolated incident. In my experience as a cycle injury lawyer I have come across examples of cyclists being deliberately pushed off their bikes by passengers from passing cars, motorists attempting to push a cyclist into oncoming traffic and even using their vehicle as a weapon." 

"When a pedestrian deliberately pushes a cyclist off a bike this is a criminal act. The appropriate offence depends upon the extent of the injury."

Thankfully, this rogue pedestrian has now voluntary handed himself into the police (on 25 August), thanks to the publicity that was generated around the head cam footage.

Charging and Sentencing

When a pedestrian deliberately pushes a cyclist off a bike this is a criminal act. The appropriate offence depends upon the extent of the injury.The options are:

1. Common Assault, contrary to section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988

An offence of Common Assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery.

An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force.

A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another.

It is a summary offence, which carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

2. Common Assault or Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)?

In law, the only factors that distinguish Common Assault from Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (contrary to section 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861) are the degree of injury that results and the sentence available to the sentencing court.

Injuries

Although any injury that is more than 'transient or trifling' can be classified as actual bodily harm, the appropriate charge will be one of Common Assault where no injury or injuries which are not serious occur.

In determining the seriousness of injury, relevant factors may include, for example, the fact that there has been significant medical intervention and/or permanent effects have resulted. But there may be other factors which are also relevant and these will need to be carefully considered when deciding whether or not the injuries are serious.

It should be borne in mind that Parliament created the offence of Common Assault specifically to cater for those assault cases in which the injuries caused are not serious.

Likely sentence

The offence of Common Assault carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment. This will provide the court with adequate sentencing powers in most cases. ABH should generally be charged where the injuries and overall circumstances indicate that the offence merits clearly more than six months' imprisonment and where the prosecution intend to represent that the case is not suitable for summary trial.

3. Grievous Bodily Harm (Wounding and GBH S.20 & S.18 OAPA 1861)

This offence is committed when a person unlawfully and maliciously, with intent to do some grievous bodily harm, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any other person, either wounds another person; or causes grievous bodily harm to another person. It is an indictable only offence, which carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life. 

 

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Comments

The guy has now handed himself in. He will be charged for a criminal offence.

Please note the "Charging and Sentencing" laws only applies to England and Wales.

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