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Pedestrian jailed for three years after gesturing cyclist off pavement into oncoming car

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

Image credit: South Yorkshire Police

A pedestrian who gestured at a cyclist, causing her to fall and be killed by an oncoming car, has been jailed for three years.


Auriol Grey, 49, was walking along the pavement in Nursery Road, Huntingdon, in October 2020, when she began gesturing and shouting at Celia Ward, 77, approaching in the opposite direction on her bike.

Grey shouted at Mrs Ward to get off the pavement before throwing her arm towards her.


Mrs Ward fell into the road in front of a moving vehicle and was later pronounced dead at the scene.


Grey was arrested at her home in Huntingdon. When questioned, she explained she had disabilities, including impaired vision, and was worried about being struck by the bike.

Grey was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial at Peterborough Crown Court and was sentenced to three years in prison on 2 March.


Detective Sergeant Mark Dollard, who investigated, said: “This is a difficult and tragic case. Everyone will have their own views of cyclists on pavements and cycleways, but what is clear is Grey’s response to the presence of Celia on a pedal cycle was totally disproportionate and ultimately found to be unlawful, resulting in Celia’s untimely and needless death.


“I hope it is a stark reminder to all road users to take care and be considerate of each other.


“I want to take the time to acknowledge Celia’s family and thank them for their patience and dignity throughout the entirety of the investigation and trial.”


Celia’s husband David Ward issued this statement following the sentence: “After 53 years of happy marriage, Celia was taken from me in a most horrific way, leaving me with only my memories. She was kind, calm, careful, cheerful and competent in all that she did.


“Her death has caused me great suffering. We relied on each other, shared the same sense of humour and outlook on life, and enjoyed each other’s company. I miss her terribly.”


Celia’s daughter Gillian said: “Celia Ward was my mum, mother-in-law to my husband and much-loved grandmother to my son, but most importantly, the love of my father’s life. Her untimely death has turned our world on its head and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could pick up the phone to ask her advice, celebrate the special events in our lives or just tell her how much I love her.


“It’s easy to say how wonderful my mum was… she was passionate about her family and always there to help and support us. She was of a generation that made and mended, kept a spotless house and always put others first. Her death has marred what should have been some of the most enjoyable times for us as a family.


“We can never forget the past two and a half years, but it’s now time to start remembering the wonderful memories and times we had with mum, and hopefully find some peace.”


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