Cycling UK says case acts as reminder for all drivers and passengers to take care when opening their car doors.
Farook Yusuf Bhikhu, the taxi driver convicted of permitting the ‘car dooring’ which led to the death of Leicester teacher Sam Boulton, today (12 October) saw his appeal rejected by the court. Bhikhu was convicted of the offence of ‘car-dooring’ in Loughborough Magistrates Court on 5 June. He was originally handed a £955 fine, broken down as £300 for the offence, a £30 victim surcharge and £625 court costs, to be paid in £20 weekly instalments. Following the rejection of his appeal, further costs of £300 were ordered by the magistrate. A local school teacher, Sam was cycling along London Road in Leicester on 27 July 2016 at around 1.20pm. Bhikhu, having parked outside Leicester train station on a double yellow line, permitted his passenger, Ms Chapple to open her door on the roadside. This caused a collision with Sam, knocking him off his bicycle and into the path of an oncoming Citroen van. Sam sustained fatal injuries and tragically died later that day, his 26th birthday. Chapple pleaded guilty at the time of the initial hearing at Leicester Magistrates Court in March earlier this year, and was handed a £150 fine. Bhikhu submitted a plea of not guilty at the same time and his case went to trial, resulting in his conviction, which was upheld today. ‘Car-dooring’ is a criminal offence for which both the person in charge of the vehicle at the time, and the person opening the door are potentially culpable. The offence is punishable with a maximum fine of up to £1,000. Cycling UK and Sam’s family, wants to see more public awareness on the dangers of car-dooring which could be significantly reduced through simple techniques such as the Dutch Reach.