‘How can you put a disabled person in a place like that?’ Family of ‘childlike’ partially blind woman who was jailed for waving cyclist into path of car slam decision to send her to prison and say her vulnerabilities were ‘ignored’ by judge
- Auriol Grey’s family claims the judge ‘treated her as if she was able-bodied’
- Her family is said to be in support of the move to appeal her prison sentence
The family of a ‘childlike’ disabled and partially-blind woman who was jailed for manslaughter have claimed the judge ‘effectively ignored’ her vulnerabilities when he issued her sentence.
Auriol Grey, 49, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month she told cyclist Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’ seconds before the pensioner lost her balance, toppled into the road and was fatally struck by a car.
Grey is understood to be appealing her sentence, which her brother-in-law, Alisdair Luxmoore, told The Times the family is in support of.
Mr Luxmoore, slamming the judge’s decision to sentence her to prison, alleged Grey was ‘treated as if she was able-bodied’ and questioned: ‘How can you put a disabled person in a place like that?’
The family of disabled and partially-blind Auriol Grey (pictured earlier this month) have claimed the judge ‘effectively ignored’ her vulnerabilities when he sentenced her to prison
Auriol Grey, 49, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month she told cyclist Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’ seconds before the pensioner lost her balance, toppled into the road and was fatally struck by a car. Pictured: Footage of the confrontation between Grey and Ms Ward
Mr Luxmoore said he believes that Grey did not intend to harm anyone with her actions and claimed Ms Ward’s death was a ‘tragic accident’ that has left the family ‘horrified.’
‘Then there was the horror at the thought of her being sent to [prison]. How can you put a disabled person in a place like that?’ he told the newspaper.
‘The judge basically treated her as if she was able-bodied … the onus was put on her to get out of the way of the cyclist.’
Mr Luxmoore added that the family is ‘desperately sorry for the Wards’ and said it was ‘awful’ that Grey played any role in the pensioner’s tragic death.
Grey is described as having ‘only one friend’ and being ‘childlike’ and ‘vulnerable’ as she single-handedly battled through her challenging life.
She also suffers from cerebral palsy, is partially blind and has cognitive issues, which restricts her mobility.
MailOnline has approached Grey’s lawyer, Miranda Moore KC, for comment.
Grey repeatedly told police she ‘couldn’t remember’ details of the incident which led to Ms Ward’s death
Her family believes that Grey (pictured during an interview with police) did not intend to harm anyone with her actions and claimed Ms Ward’s death was a ‘tragic accident’ that has left them ‘horrified’
Auriol Grey, 49, who is described as having ‘only one friend’ and being ‘childlike’, was given a three-year imprisonment sentence after after she told Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’
The tragic accident happened as the retired midwife was riding her bike on a path in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on October 20, 2020.
Video footage of Grey’s interview with police showed she told officers ‘I can’t remember’ when pressed for details of what happened during the incident.
In the footage police officers asked Grey how Ms Ward ended up in the road.
‘I think that the bike may have, if it swerved, onto the road,’ she replied.
When asked if she had touched the bike or rider during the incident, Grey replied: ‘Only in a vague way’, before adding she touched her ‘lightly’.
Later in the interview, officers showed her CCTV footage of the collision and pointed out they could see Grey’s lips moving.
She then told officers she asked Ms Ward to ‘slow down’.
They also showed Grey stills of the footage, pointing out to Grey that her hand was ‘on [Ms Ward’s] jacket’.
When pushed to explain this, Grey again said: ‘I can’t remember.’
The audio of Grey telling Ms Ward to ‘get off the f***ing pavement’ was then played to her by the officers.
Grey said she could not hear what was being said on the audio.
She was later asked to explain what she had meant by shouting the expletive at Ms Ward, to which she replied: ‘I can’t remember.’
Grey was also questioned about why she did not stay to speak to emergency services after Ms Ward had been hit by the car.
She said: ‘They weren’t there.’
When pushed, she added: ‘She was being helped and you could hear police and things coming.
‘I didn’t know I had to [stay].’
Grey (pictured during the incident) was convicted for manslaughter after she gestured in a ‘hostile and aggressive’ to Ms Ward to move off the pavement
Scene of the fatal accident – a one way street in Nursery Road, a seven-minute walk from Auriol’s home. She had been walking up along the pavement to the nearby shops when she confronted the pensioner cyclist
The court heard that until pre-sentencing Grey had expressed ‘no remorse’ for her actions and had walked off before emergency services arrived at the scene of the crash – despite admitting to police she had heard sirens on their way.
She is understood to be appealing her sentence, with her defence lawyer warning she stands to lose her home and all her belongings if she remains in jail.
Her lawyer Ms Moore told a judge: ‘She has nobody to support her apart from a friend and no family support at all. She has no financial support at all other than state benefits.
‘If she goes to prison today she would lose her home and has no one to store her possessions. She doesn’t know what would happen to them.’
But despite the claims of the defence, a judge said Grey’s actions were ‘not explained by disability’.
Grey was said to have been warned to expect a custodial sentence, but still believed she would only be handed a suspended term.
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