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Woman Loses Appeal After Huntingdon Death

Auriol Grey, 49, shouted an expletive and gestured in an "aggressive way" towards Celia Ward, who then fell into the path of a car

An attempt by a pedestrian, whose actions resulted in the death of a 77-year-old cyclist, to appeal her prison sentence has been unsuccessful.

Auriol Grey was convicted of manslaughter after she shouted an offensive remark and made aggressive gestures towards Celia Ward. As a result, Ward fell into the path of an oncoming car on Huntingdon ring-road in 2020.

In March of this year, Grey was sentenced to three years in prison. However, her application for leave to appeal was recently dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

According to the court proceedings, Grey and Ward crossed paths on the pavement during the afternoon of October 20th. CCTV footage clearly captured Grey shouting at Ward, a retired midwife, and instructing her to leave the pavement. This encounter led to Ward colliding with Grey and falling onto the road, where she was struck by a passing car.

During the appeal hearing, Grey's legal team sought a reduction in her sentence and its suspension. They presented a report from a psychologist, commissioned by Grey's family, which diagnosed her with autism.

Representing Grey, Miranda Moore KC argued that the sentence imposed was "excessive" and that the autism diagnosis could have influenced the case's outcome. Moore also raised concerns about the sentencing judge's interpretation of the evidence, particularly regarding whether the pavement was designated as a shared cycleway.

However, the panel consisting of Mr Justice Griffiths, Lord Justice William Davis, and Judge Neil Flewitt declined to grant permission for Grey to appeal her sentence. They concluded that it was not "arguably manifestly excessive."

Mr Justice Griffiths emphasised the gravity of Grey's unlawful act, which resulted in the death of an innocent woman and had a profound impact on Ward's family and the driver of the car involved. The sentence was intended to reflect the severity of the unlawful killing while considering mitigating factors.

The sentencing judge, Sean Enright, had already taken Grey's disabilities into account and assigned significant weight to them, according to Mr Justice Griffiths. He stated that the recent psychology report did not warrant a greater reduction in the sentence than had already been given by the judge.

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