Cyclist fined �330 for dangerous biking on Hampstead Heath

A CYCLIST was gearing up for trouble when he refused to brake before entering Hampstead Heath – but the Heath constables soon had a handle on the situation.

After seeing Eddison Joseph flouting the Heath’s strict cycling laws the constables decided enough was enough and this week he was forced to pay a massive �330 fine plus court costs.

Joseph was prosecuted for riding in a dangerous and reckless manner on a ‘no cycling’ path and for trying to avoid capture and riding off at speed when challenged in April of last year.

Mr Joseph had been stopped on a previous occasion by officers from the Heath Constabulary and had received a formal warning.

Richard Gentry, head of the Constabulary said: “This chap was previously stopped in February of last year, so we had his details from that incident. Essentially he was on his bike where he shouldn’t have been on his bike and he didn’t listen to the warnings.

“We had seen him flouting the rules on many occasions, so we put him forward for a summons.

“The initial approach for us is to educate and offer advice with regard to safe cycling on the Heath.

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“There are safe routes for people to use and we want to make sure that everyone who comes to the Heath can enjoy it.”

The Heath Constabulary, who are charged with executing the area’s bylaws, do not have the same powers as the PCs and PCSOs on the beat – which means they are unable to issue on the spot fines for dangerous or unlawful cycling.

However, as Mr Joseph proved, dangerous cyclists will not get off free and repeat offenders will end up with a much larger fine and a court trip to boot. Mr Gentry continued: “You’ve got anything from young kids, dogs, people jogging, elderly people or people with iPods all over the heath and dangerous cyclists can ruin it for everyone.”

PC Tierney from the Heath Constabulary added: “The public should be aware that we are enforcing the by-Laws in relation to cycling and must take note of the ‘no cycling’ routes that are clearly marked.”