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NEWS | 19 May 2011 | This is Cornwall | Fireman bike rider cleared of careless cycling

Spotted on Thu 19 Mayl 2011 in West Briton

Fireman bike rider cleared of careless cycling

Thursday, May 19, 2011

West Briton

A FIRFIGHTER has been cleared of careless cycling following an accident that left a young woman with serious head injuries.

Andrew Bales, 30, of Angarrack, near Hayle, was cycling home with a colleague when a woman ran across the road in Penzance.

At Truro Magistrates' Court it was alleged that Mr Bales had made no significant attempt to reduce his speed or try to avoid the collision.


But following a full-day trial, magistrates were not satisfied Mr Bales' riding fell below reasonable standards.

Mr Bales told the court about the accident on June 20 last year at the junction of Market Jew Street and Albert Street: "The first time I was conscious of her was when she stepped off the kerb and I simultaneously yelled at her, tried to break and swerve.

"I shouted 'hey' and it was loud enough for her to become startled.

"It was difficult to know where she was going to go.

"There was nothing I could have done to avoid the collision; I was already doing whatever I could to avoid it."

Pedestrian Hannah Holland was left with serious brain injuries and had lifesaving surgery to remove a blood clot.

Ms Holland told the court she was ordering food at a fish and chip shop when she decided to cross the road to buy a drink.

Closed circuit television footage played at court showed she waited for two cars to pass her before stepping into the road.

She said: "I went at a fairly decent pace. I have a vivid image of a cyclist and then I remember waking up in hospital a day later."

Wayne Arthur, former landlord of the Flanagans pub who witnessed the incident, told the hearing Mr Bales had tried to avoid the collision by putting his feet on the floor, shouting and swirving his bike. Police evidence confirmed Mr Bales' average speed was 17mph as he was travelling down Market Jew Street, but it was suggested it could have been significantly lower by the time of the incident.

Prosecuting, Ronald Butler argued Mr Bales had "ample" opportunity to see Miss Holland and his shouting had startled her.


But Susan Cavender, defending Mr Bales, who was thrown over the handlebars of his bike and received head injuries for which he was treated at West Cornwall Hospital, said the evidence was "tenuous".

She said Mr Bales had travelled well below the speed limit, Miss Holland's recollection of the incident was sketchy and Mr Arthur's police statement indicated she ran in front of her client.

Afterwards Mr Bales said the case should have never gone to court, adding: "I am so glad it is over, it has been really stressful but we can move on now."