Woman, 49, jailed for manslaughter for shouting at cyclist before she was killed by car 'plans to appeal'

3 March 2023, 07:51

CCTV shows moment Auriol Grey raises hand to Celia Ward before latter falls

By Asher McShane

A disabled and partially sighted woman convicted of manslaughter for gesturing and swearing at a cyclist before they fell into the path of an oncoming car plans to appeal her jail term, it has emerged.

Auriol Grey, 49, shouting at retired midwife Celia Ward to "get off the f***ing 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 on October 20, 2020.

CCTV shows the moment Grey gestures towards Mrs Ward telling her to ‘get off the f****** pavement’. Seconds later Mrs Ward veers into the road before falling over the front of her bicycle and being hit by a car that was unable to stop.

Grey’s team have said she plans an appeal, having expected a suspended sentence. She denied manslaughter.

A source 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 during an appeal process but it was a failed application."

Her sentence has since been branded 'extremely harsh' by disability campaigners.

Cambridgeshire County Council also said they could find ‘no legal records’ to suggest the pavement was a ‘shared footpath’ despite the judge declaring it one in court.

Judge Sean Enright, sentencing Grey to three years in prison, said "these actions are not explained by disability".

He said that Grey, of Huntingdon, had no mental disorder or learning difficulties and he said the pavement was 2.4 metres wide at the relevant point, describing it as a "shared path on the ring road"

Read more: Jeremy Clarkson denies he has been axed from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? amid Meghan Markle column fallout

Auriol Grey gestured at Celia Ward as she cycled on the pavement
Auriol Grey gestured at Celia Ward as she cycled on the pavement. Picture: Cambs Police

The court heard that two women passed each other on the pavement of the town's ring road pavement on October 20, 2020.

The prosecution claimed that Grey had been "angered by the presence of a cyclist on a footpath".

Prosecutor Simon Spence KC said Grey shouted at Ms Ward and "gestured in a hostile and aggressive way towards" her, which caused her to fall off the bike and into the road where she was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Auriol Grey, 49,  who has been jailed for three years for manslaughter
Auriol Grey, 49, who has been jailed for three years for manslaughter. Picture: police

Mrs Ward's widower, retired RAF pilot David Ward, said in a statement read to the court by prosecutor Simon Spence KC that the "clip of Celia's last moments will haunt me forever".

"Rarely a day goes by without thinking of her and our happy life together but I can so easily burst into tears, as I have on so many occasions," he said

He said they met in 1965 and in their retirement enjoyed playing golf and seeing the world on cruise holidays.

"I miss her terribly and after a year-and-a-half on my own felt the need to sell our house of 34 years and relocated to a retirement village near Romsey (in Hampshire)," he said.

He said that he did this to be closer to family, including their daughter Gillian Hayter.

Ward, 77, then fell into the road after the confrontation
Ward, 77, then fell into the road after the confrontation. Picture: Cambs Police

Read more: 'A massive betrayal and breach of trust': Matt Hancock apologises to colleagues over private messages leak

Read more: WhatsApp clashes over Covid schools policy were sent 'in the heat of the moment', minister tells LBC

The court heard the car had no chance to stop or take avoiding action and that Ms Ward died at the scene.

Jurors were told Grey left before emergency services arrived and went to Sainsbury's where she bought groceries.

In a police interview Grey told officers she was partially sighted and described the bicycle as travelling "fast" in the middle of the pavement.

She said she was "anxious that I was going to get hit by it", adding that she "may have unintentionally put" out her hand to protect herself.

The court was told police couldn't "categorically" state whether the pavement was a shared cycleway.

Celia Ward (R) died after being struck by a car in October 202
Celia Ward (R) died after being struck by a car in October 202. Picture: Family Handout

Miranda Moore KC, mitigating for Grey, said: "What happened took but a moment that has impacted on many."

She said that Grey's "present opinion is where the pavements are narrow the cyclists... should cycle on the road".

"There was no intention to cause harm or an obvious risk of harm," she said.

She said witnesses had said that Grey "seemed childlike", and that she lived in adapted special accommodation.

After the judge passed his sentence on Thursday, Ms Moore indicated that an appeal would be submitted against this and a request for bail would be made.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Scene outside the mortuary from above

Rising violence causes mortuary to overflow in Ecuadorian city

Mohamed Bazoum

Niger’s highest court lifts immunity of deposed president Mohamed Bazoum

Aimee Betro is accused of an attempted murder-for-hire in Birmingham

Mother of 'hit woman in hijab' issues stark warning to police as international manhunt continues

Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hand

Ramaphosa set for re-election after second-biggest party pledges backing

Singapore's goalkeeper makes a save

Chinese football fans pour money into food stall run by Singapore’s goalkeeper

Five Scotland fans were injured after their car was involved in a head-on collision in Germany

Five Scotland fans injured in horror crash after 'forgetting Germany drives on right'

Vladimir Putin

Putin pledges ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops and drops Nato bid

Putin has set out his demands for a ceasefire with Ukraine

Vladimir Putin promises Ukraine ceasefire on two conditions as he issues fresh warning to the West

More than a dozen employees were fired following claims about 'simulated' activity, according to reports.

‘Mouse jiggling’ employees sacked from major US bank after using tech to make it seem like they were working

Friends Matthew Steward and Cory Dove died in Turkey

Two British friends killed in quad bike horror crash in Turkey after smashing into 'hotel bus' on family holiday

You can run for president for United states but you can’t be a member of the House of Lords

Shadow Health Secretary says size of House of Lords ‘out of control’ and introducing an ‘80 year limit is the right balance’

Muslim pilgrims under umbrellas against the heat

Muslims start the Hajj against the backdrop of Israel-Hamas war

Simon Brown and William Rowe mugshot

Killer dad-of-two jailed for 13 years after beating 'bragging' serial paedophile to death

Guy Mukendi, 39, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Man who removed condom without consent during sex jailed four years in rare ‘stealthing’ conviction

England fans have been warned not to sing 'Ten German bombers' at the Euros. Picture shows fans during a game against Germany in 2021

‘We will intervene’: German police warn England fans coming to the Euros don’t sing Ten German Bombers

Rishi Sunak has said he is still fighting for every vote, despite a poll showing his party is behind Reform UK

Rishi Sunak defiant despite Reform UK overtaking Tories in poll as he insists he's 'fighting for every vote'