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  1. ITV Report

Cyclist convicted of 'furious driving' over mother-of-two's death

A cyclist who fatally ploughed his bike into a mother-of-two as she crossed a London street has been found guilty of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving, but cleared of manslaughter.

Charlie Alliston, 20, was travelling on a fixed-wheel track bicycle with no front brakes - illegal on the road - when he crashed into Kim Briggs.

Alliston was travelling between 10 and 14mph when he hit the HR consultant as she crossed Old Street in east London on February 12 last year.

The 44-year-old suffered "catastrophic" head injuries in the collision and died a week later in hospital.

Kim Briggs died from head injuries she suffered after being hit by the bike. Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire/PA Images

Charlie Alliston was charged with an archaic law created 150-years-ago because charges of death by dangerous driving or careless driving only apply to people in charge of motorised vehicles.

The 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, historically used to prosecute horse-drawn carriage drivers, carries a maximum penalty of two years.

The maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving is 14 years in prison.

Mrs Briggs' widower Matthew has called for new offences of death by dangerous cycling and careless cycling, in line with mechanical vehicles.

He said: "The current law is outdated and has not kept pace with the huge increase in the number of people cycling and the associated increased risk of collisions, nor the attitude of some cyclists. We need to change the way the law deals with this."

Kim Briggs' widower Matthew Briggs is calling for a change in the law regarding cyclists. Credit: PA

Prosecutors took the unprecedented step of bringing a manslaughter charge due to the unusually grave circumstances of the case.

During the Old Bailey trial Alliston said he did not know the bike was illegal on the road and told jurors he was not riding recklessly.

Alliston had twice shouted at Mrs Briggs to get out of the way but failed to stop or avoid the head-on collision.

He is also reported to have continued to shout at her as she lay in the road with head injuries.

Mr Briggs paid tribute to his "wonderful" wife, with whom he had a daughter aged 11 and a son aged 14.

In a statement read in court he said: "She was quick to smile, slow to judge and even slower to anger."

Mr Briggs said the trial had been "gruelling and painful", adding: "Out of this senseless carnage, I shall try to bring change to the law and change to attitudes. Perhaps in this way I can honour my wife."

The fixed wheel-track bicycle had no front brakes.

Jurors heard Alliston's trendy "fixie" bike was not legal to use on the road without being modified to add a front brake.

He bought the £700 Planet X bike second-hand for £470 in January last year, telling the vendor he wanted to use it for track-cycling.

Crash investigators who studied CCTV of the incident concluded Alliston would have been able to stop and avoid the collision if the bike had been fitted with a front brake.

During the trial the former bike courier told the court it "wouldn't have made a difference" if he had a front brake.

He told the court: "At all times I would know what I'm doing and completely responsible for my actions. I did not get a kick or enjoyment out of not being safe."

Alliston had denied both of the charges.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC ordered a pre-sentence report, making clear she was considering jail - which could be a maximum of two years.

She said: "I have not seen one iota of remorse from Mr Alliston at all at any stage."

She adjourned sentencing until September 18.