Woman who caused cyclist to fall into road can contest manslaughter conviction

A pedestrian who shouted and waved aggressively at a cyclist, causing her to fall into the path of an oncoming car, has been given the green light to challenge her manslaughter conviction at the Court of Appeal.

CCTV footage showed Auriol Grey shout at retired midwife Celia Ward to “get off the f****** pavement” in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, causing her to fall into the road.

Grandmother Mrs Ward, 77, of Wyton, Cambridgeshire, died after she was struck by a car in the incident in October 2020.

Auriol Grey court case
Celia Ward (Cambridgeshire Police)

But at a hearing on Tuesday, three judges at the Court of Appeal gave Grey the go-ahead to challenge her conviction.

The court in London heard the now 50-year-old was charged with unlawful act manslaughter – which requires an unlawful action to take place that caused death.

However, her lawyers told appeal judges that no such action was considered by the jury at Grey’s trial.

Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Mrs Justice Yip and Mr Justice Calver, said Grey’s appeal could be heard.

The full appeal is now expected to be heard in May, with Grey also able to make a bid for bail.

Ben Rose, of Hickman & Rose solicitors who are representing Grey, said: “Auriol Grey is an autistic, disabled person with impaired vision… In a case such as this, the prosecution is required to prove to the jury that she intended to cause Mrs Ward harm or fear of harm.

“We say this did not happen, and as a result will ask the Court of Appeal when the case is heard in May to quash Ms Grey’s conviction.”

The ruling comes after Grey’s Court of Appeal bid to reduce her sentence was rejected by different judges last May.

Miranda Moore KC, previously representing Grey, argued the sentence was “excessive” and that an autism diagnosis secured after her trial may have made a difference in her case.

But Mr Justice Griffiths, sitting with Lord Justice William Davis and Judge Neil Flewitt, refused the green light for her to appeal against her sentence, concluding it was “not arguably manifestly excessive”.

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