Woman jailed for role in cyclist’s death ‘shocked’ and vows to appeal
Grey, who suffers from cognitive and mobility issues and is partially sighted, was hoping to be handed a suspended jail term.
Instead, she was sentenced to three years after being convicted of manslaughter at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday. Grey was reported to have gestured at Ms Ward in a “hostile and aggressive” way and told her to “get off the f***ing pavement”.
A source close to her defence team told The Sun: “She was warned she could face a custodial sentence but had been anticipating a suspended sentence. She is shocked and devastated by the outcome.
“Her lawyer had desperately tried to get her out on bail while during an appeal process, but it was a failed application.”
The source added Grey was partially estranged from her mother. Sources said: “They never see each other but occasionally speak on the phone.”
Grey has no living siblings and no husband or partner. The source said: “She has no one in her life to help and support her, just one friend who has his own family but has been giving her lifts to court. It is a very sad situation to be in.”
Sentencing Grey on Thursday, Judge Sean Enright said she was “territorial about the pavement” and resented the cyclist being there. The court heard about Grey’s health issues.
However, Judge Enright said: “These actions are not explained by disability.” He admonished her for her dishonest account in a police interview and said there had not been a word about remorse “until today”.
Meanwhile, Ms Ward’s husband and daughter remain grieving after the loss of their wife and mother. David, Ms Ward’s husband said in his victim impact statement that “rarely a day goes by without thinking of her”.
Ms Ward’s daughter, Gillian Hayter, said: “The lack of any remorse from the accused cannot be underestimated in having a profound effect on us all. The panic and disbelief and shock of losing her in such an awful accident was hard to comprehend.
“But the news that it was not a tragic accident but a deliberate act of violence was incomprehensible. Mum is the least violent person.”
Det Sgt Mark Dollard said: “This is a difficult and tragic case. Everyone will have their own views on cyclists, pavements and cycleways but what is clear is Auriol 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 am pleased with the verdict and hope it is a stark reminder to all road users to take care and be considerate to 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.”
The driver of the car that hit Ms Ward, Carla Money, has been left with PTSD following the incident. She told the court: “Not only did you knock my confidence but a piece of me was lost. A small piece of the Carla everyone knew went that day.”
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