Able2UK Losers

Disabled woman committed of manslaughter for telling cyclist to get off the pavement is released from prison

Auriol Grey arriving at Peterborough Crown Court

Last year Auroi Grey [pictured above] was charged with manslaughter after making a cyclist fall to their death, earlier this week after months behind bars, she is now a free woman.

The 50-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and partial vision loss, shouted to midwife Celia Ward to ‘get off the fucking pavement’, in Huntingdon, Cambrideshire, in October 2020 causing her to fall off her bike before being fatally hit by a passing car.

Ms Grey denied manslaughter but was found guilty at a retrial in March 2023, where she was sentenced to jail for three years.

But she was released on Wednesday after her conviction was overturned by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London after Grey’s legal team argued she had not committed manslaughter, which requires illegal action to cause a death.

Dame Victoria Sharp, who was joined by Mrs Justice Yip and Mrs Justice Farbey, said: 'In our judgement, the prosecution case was insufficient even to be left to the jury.

'In all the circumstances, we have no hesitation in concluding that the appellant's conviction for manslaughter is unsafe.'

Adrian Darbishire KC said: 'The trial seems to have proceeded on the basis that some kind of unlawfulness, undefined and unspecified, was sufficient to find this offence of homicide.'

He stated there was 'entirely no base offence identified in this process' and aspects of common law were ‘wholly absent’ from the advice provided for the jury to help them make their decision.

Darbishire added: 'The entire legal process, and the preparation of such, proceeded on a false legal footing.'

Sharp agreed that the jury were not asked to determine whether  'the fundamental question of whether a base offence was established'.

She added: 'The appellant's actions that day contributed to Mrs Ward's untimely death. Had Mrs Ward not died, we regard it as inconceivable that the appellant would have been charged with assault.'

Grey’s actions were described in court as ‘hostile gesticulation’ which was challenged by Darbishire.

He explained: 'Hostile gesticulation is not a crime, otherwise we would have 50,000 football fans each weekend being apprehended.' 

Darbishire told the court Grey has vision loss and 'significant physical impairment' on her right-hand side.

The barrister told the trial jury at Peterborough Crown Court 'needed less focus on hostility on her part' and more attention to 'the reasonableness of not standing aside where [it] would involve moving to her right-hand side, her unfavoured side, to let the cyclist past'.

Grey’s family, who watched the appeal unfold via a video link, said in a statement: "Whilst we welcome the decision of the Court of Appeal, our thoughts today are also with the Ward family, and I am sure a day doesn't go by when they don't remember their tragic loss.

"We are very relieved that Auriol's prison ordeal is over and we would like to thank the staff and inmates of HMP Peterborough for the kindness and consideration they have shown over the last year."

"There has been unnecessary and prolonged suffering and vulnerable people like Auriol need better support from the justice system - we hope lessons will be learnt."

[ Celia Ward’s family did not wish to comment on the ruling. ]

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