Disabled woman, 50, who was jailed for waving cyclist, 77, into path of car given green light to challenge conviction

19 March 2024, 22:05

CCTV footage showed Auriol Grey shout at retired midwife Celia Ward
CCTV footage showed Auriol Grey shout at retired midwife Celia Ward. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A 50-year-old disabled woman who was jailed for waving a cyclist off the pavement and into the path of a car has been given the go-ahead to challenge her manslaughter conviction.

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CCTV footage showed Auriol Grey shouting and waving aggressively at cyclist Celia Ward to "get off the f****** pavement" in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, causing her to fall into the path of an oncoming car.

Grandmother Ms Ward, 77, from Wyton, Cambridgeshire, died after she was struck by the vehicle in October 2020.

Grey, who has cerebral palsy and partial blindness, denied manslaughter but was found guilty after a retrial and was jailed for three years in March 2023.

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

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Auriol Grey
Auriol Grey. Picture: Alamy

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

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.

"We are satisfied that the ground of appeal now advanced is arguable," Dame Victoria said.

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

Ben Rose, from 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."

It 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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