Sam Harding bicycle death: Kenan Aydogdu cleared of manslaughter

  • Published
Kenan Aydogdu outside the Old Bailey
Image caption,
Kenan Aydogdu denied manslaughter

A motorist who opened his car door in front of a cyclist who was crushed by a bus has been cleared of manslaughter.

Sam Harding, 25, died after crashing into Kenan Aydogdu's car door in Holloway Road, north London, last year.

He had had the windows of his car coated with a dark plastic film which reduced visibility in and out of the car to 17%, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Aydogdu, 32, of Hindhead, Surrey, said he had only opened his car door a little to see if anyone was coming.

Mr Harding was riding in a bus lane with a bus travelling behind him and was crushed after coming off his bicycle.

'No winners'

Witnesses on the bus said Mr Aydogdu opened his door directly into the path of the cyclist on 6 August last year.

Mr Aydogdu, who admitted opening the door without using his mirror, told police he thought Mr Harding had lost control of the cycle.

The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, told the jury: "This is a case where there are no winners. Everyone is a loser."

The jury took just over an hour to clear Mr Aydogdu.

Media caption,

Keith Harding, cyclist's father: "We're obviously very disappointed"

Sam Harding's father Keith said there was a "gap in the law".

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Obviously the jury didn't think it was serious enough to convict him for manslaughter."

He added: "The law needs to find something that is commensurate."

London Assembly Green Party member Jenny Jones said the Metropolitan Police had issued an average of seven to nine fixed penalty notices per year for "car dooring" in the past seven years.

"Cyclists being killed or seriously injured by drivers opening their car doors is remarkably common, yet it has received very little attention from the police or the mayor," she said.

"The Met Police and the mayor need to urgently launch a major awareness campaign and make clear that car dooring will be automatically prosecuted."

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