Pedestrian Auriol Grey, jailed for killing cyclist Celia Ward by telling her to ‘get off the pavement’

A pedestrian convicted of manslaughter after angrily waving at a cyclist, causing her to topple into the path of an oncoming car, has been jailed for three years.

Auriol Grey, 49, was caught on CCTV shouting at retired midwife Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the f**king pavement’ as she approached in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Seconds later she lost her balance and fell into the road where she was struck by a VW Passat that was unable to stop.

She was declared dead at the scene a short while later on October 20, 2020.

Grey, who has cerebral palsy, denied manslaughter but was found guilty following an earlier retrial at Peterborough Crown Court.

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

The court heard Grey gestured in a hostile and aggressive way as the two headed in opposite directions on a ‘shared path on the ring road’.

Auriol Grey arriving at Peterborough Crown Court

Auriol Grey arriving at Peterborough Crown Court, Cambridgeshire, for sentencing (Picture: PA)

Photo issued by Cambridgeshire Police of Auriol Grey

Grey was jailed for three years (Picture: PA)

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),’ Mr Ward added.

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

Ms Hayter told of her mother’s ‘senseless and needless death lying in the road without those who loved her’.

The driver of the car which collided with Mrs Ward, Carla Money, who was with her two-year-old daughter at the time, said that her life was ‘turned upside down’ by what happened.

Auriol Grey, 49, gestured in a ‘hostile and aggressive way’

Auriol Grey, 49, gestured in a ‘hostile and aggressive way’ towards 77-year-old retired midwife Celia Ward (Picture: SWNS)


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.

In her police interview, Grey told officers she was partially sighted and described the bicycle as travelling fast in the centre of the pavement.

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.

Detective Sergeant Mark Dollard, who investigated, said: ‘This is a difficult and tragic case.

‘Everyone will have their own views of cyclists on pavements and cycleways, but what is clear is Grey’s response to the presence of Celia on a pedal cycle was totally disproportionate and ultimately found to be unlawful, resulting in Celia’s untimely and needless death.

‘I am pleased with the verdict and hope it is a stark reminder to all road users to take care and be considerate to each other.’

In a statement released through police after sentencing, Mr Ward said: ‘After 53 years of happy marriage, Celia was taken from me in a most horrific way, leaving me with my memories.

‘She was kind, calm, careful, cheerful and competent in all that she did.

‘Her death has caused me great suffering. We relied on each other, shared the same sense of humour and outlook on life, and enjoyed each other’s company.

‘I miss her terribly.’

Her daughter Gillian added in a statement released through police: ‘Celia Ward was my mum, mother-in-law to my husband and much-loved grandmother to my son, but most importantly, the love of my father’s life.

Her untimely death has turned our world on its head and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could pick up the phone to ask her advice, celebrate the special events in our lives or just tell her how much I love her.

‘It’s easy to say how wonderful my mum was… she was passionate about her family and always there to help and support us.

‘She was of a generation that made and mended, kept a spotless house and always put others first.

‘Her death has marred what should have been some of the most enjoyable times for us as a family.

‘We can never forget the past two-and-a-half years, but it’s now time to start remembering the wonderful memories and times we had with mum, and hopefully find some peace.


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