Cyclist mowed down and killed pedestrian while speeding at 30mph in first suspected e-bike death, court hears

Telegraph reporters
A cyclist accused of killing a pedestrian in the first suspected e-bike death in the UK was travelling at 30 miles per hour at the time of the crash, a court heard.

A cyclist accused of killing a pedestrian in the first suspected e-bike death in the UK was travelling at 30 miles per hour at the time of the crash, a court heard.

Thomas Hanlon, 32, is accused of causing the death of Sakine Cihan by careless driving on August 28 2018 as she crossed Kingsland High Street in Dalston, east London.

Ms Cihan, 56, died in hospital the next day as a result of a "catastrophic" head injury, in what is believed to be the first death of a pedestrian after a collision with an e-bike in the UK.

Although Hanlon's bike used a battery rather than an engine, the court heard it is classed as a motorcycle rather than an electrically-assisted pedal cycle because it could travel more than the legal 15.5mph limit.

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah told the Old Bailey: "The vehicle that Mr Hanlon was riding was fitted with a motor that could propel the vehicle at a much greater speed.

"Indeed, on approach to the collision he was travelling in the range of 30 on a road that is limited to 20.

"In short, the prosecution case against him was that he was driving without due care and attention and that carelessness was a cause of the collision and the death of Ms Cihan."

Witnesses recall 'fast' bike passing them

The court heard witness Raymond Murphy was also cycling along Kingsland High Street at the time of the collision.

Mr Rasiah said: "He described riding along approaching the station and becoming aware of a bike travelling very quickly past him, but heading in the same direction as him. He recalls thinking 'Jesus, that's fast'."

A few moments later, Mr Rasiah said the fellow cyclist "suddenly saw arms and legs everywhere, flying in the air".

The court heard that in interview, Hanlon admitted leaving the scene but said he had no time to swerve as Ms Cihan crossed the road unexpectedly.

Mr Rasiah told jurors the lights at the crossing were green for traffic but he said the speed Hanlon was travelling at amounted to driving without due care and attention.

Hanlon, of Queen's Drive, east London, denies charges of causing death while uninsured and causing death while unlicensed, as well as causing death by careless driving.

The prosecution and defence agree that Hanlon did not have a licence or insurance for a motorbike, but he is contesting the first two charges because they require a fault in the driving, which contributed in a more than minimal way to the death.

The trial continues.

E-Bikes and electronic scooters have previously come under fire over their safety for use on roads.

Wheel deal | Where the law stands on scooters

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