E-bike cyclist cleared of killing Hackney pedestrian

Kingsland High Street Image copyright @SJAhmed_
Image caption Sakine Cihan was crossing Kingsland High Street in Dalston when she was struck

A cyclist has been cleared of killing a pedestrian while riding a modified e-bike in Hackney, east London.

Thomas Hanlon, 32, was accused of “going way too quickly” when he hit Sakine Cihan in Kingsland High Street in Dalston, on 28 August 2018.

He was acquitted of causing death by careless driving and driving without a licence at the Old Bailey.

Jurors took just over an hour to reach their verdicts in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind.

The court heard Mr Hanlon’s modified e-bike was travelling at more than 10mph over the 20mph speed limit.

In law, e-bikes which are fitted with an electric motor can only be driven without a licence or insurance if their power is limited, and the motor automatically switches off at speeds above 15.5mph.

Image copyright Matt Donald/PA
Image caption The court was told Mr Hanlon left the scene despite a passer-by trying to stop him

The court heard Mr Hanlon’s bike was capable of going double that speed and as such should have been categorised as a motorbike.

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah read out a statement by cyclist Raymond Murphy, a witness to the 28 August crash, who said he was “struck” that Mr Hanlon’s bike was “going way too quickly for a normal electric bicycle”.

But, Mr Hanlon’s defence barrister Claire Howell argued that Ms Cihan had “ran out in front of him”.

She added: “He is going straight along a straight road on a sunny clear day when he has got the right of way and he can see the lights have changed to green and he’s just moving through.

“His reactions were quicker than many confident and careful drivers in the time it took him to react to her stepping out, which suggests he was keeping a good look out.”

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