Cyclist who jumped red light and left lawyer brain damaged is fined just �850
An investment banker from West Hampstead who left a top lawyer brain damaged after jumping a red light on his bicycle, has been fined just �850.
Cyclist Andrej Schipka, 44, of Goldhurst Terrace, hurtled into solicitor Clive Hyer at 26mph as the partner at Rosenblatt’s law firm stepped on to a pedestrian crossing just before 9am on July 5 last year.
The lawyer, who represented British Nuclear Test Veterans Association in their court action against the Ministry of Defence, sustained a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage after hitting his head on the road in High Holborn.
He now suffers almost daily migraines, poor concentration, and damaged eyesight – with his doctor warning he has only a 50 per cent chance of being able to return to work full-time.
Investment banker Schipka, a German national who has lived in London for 10 years and works for Commerzbank, insisted the traffic lights had been green.
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But Schipka was convicted of careless cycling on Tuesday (July 3) following a two-day trial at City of London Magistrates Court.
Passing sentence, bench chairman Gaye Cheyne said he had shown a “lack of care and competence”.
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She said: “He failed to take into account the unpredictable movements of pedestrians. We believe Mr Schipka was travelling at an unsafe speed in the circumstances.
“We acknowledge that serious and life-changing injuries were sustained as a result of this accident. We are, however, bound by the limits applied to the offence which caused the accident.”
Schipka was fined �850, with costs of �930 and a �15 victim surcharge
The maximum penalty for the offence, for which a jail sentence cannot be imposed, is a fine of �1,000.
An earlier charge of dangerous cycling, which carries a heavier penalty but requires evidence of greater recklessness, had been dropped before the trial.
In a statement read to the court following the verdict, father-of-two Mr Hyer, from Mill Hill, said: “There is barely a moment of any given day that does not result in my feeling the impact of the damage.”
He added: “My skull was extensively fractured along its entire length.
‘‘My orbital bones around both eyes were broken – this has affected my eyesight – and I continue to suffer from significant cognitive problems as a result of the accident.”
He added that he had been advised not to drive, work in his garden, or play for his five-a-side football team for the foreseeable future.
Speaking outside court, his wife Susan, who attended the trial without her husband, added: “I want the whole world to know cyclists have a duty of care to behave like human beings.”
She added: “We all live in the big city together, and for people to hurtle at pedestrians is unacceptable.”