The family of a ‘childish’ disabled and partially blind woman who was imprisoned for manslaughter, have claimed the judge “effectively ignored” her vulnerabilities when he delivered her verdict.
Auriol Grey, 49, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month. She told cyclist Celia Ward, 77, to “get off the damn curb” seconds before the pensioner lost her balance, fell onto the road and was fatally hit by a car.
Gray is understand that she is appealing against her sentencewhat her brother-in-law, Alisdair Luxmoore, told The times the family supports.
Mr Luxmoore, criticizing the judge’s decision to sentence her to prison, claimed that Gray had been ‘treated as if she were able-bodied’ and wondered: ‘How can you put a disabled person in a place like that?’
The family of disabled and partially blind Auriol Gray (pictured earlier this month) has 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 damn curb” seconds before the pensioner lost her balance, fell onto the road and was fatally hit by a car. Pictured: Footage of the confrontation between Gray and Mrs. Ward
Mr Luxmoore said he believes Gray had no intention of harming anyone with her actions and claimed Ms Ward’s death was a ‘tragic accident’ which left the family ‘shocked’.
“Then there was the horror at the thought of being sent to her [prison]. How can you accommodate a disabled person in such a place?’ he told the newspaper.
“The judge basically treated her as if she was resilient… the responsibility was placed on her to avoid the cyclist.”
Mr Luxmoore added that the family is “desperately sorry for the Wards” and said it was “terrible” that Gray played a part in the pensioner’s tragic death.
Gray is described as having “only one friend” and being “childlike” and “vulnerable” as she struggled through her challenging life on her own.
She also suffers from cerebral palsy, is partially blind and has cognitive problems, which limits her mobility.
MailOnline has reached out to Gray’s attorney, Miranda Moore KC, for comment.
Her family believe Gray (pictured during an interview with police) had no intention of harming anyone with her actions, claiming Ms Ward’s death was a ‘tragic accident’ that left them ‘shocked’.
Gray repeatedly told police she “couldn’t remember” the details of the incident that led to Ms Ward’s death
Auriol Gray, 49, who has been described as having ‘only one friend’ and being ‘childlike’, was given a three-year prison sentence after telling Celia Ward, 77, to ‘get off the goddamn curb’
The tragic accident happened as the retired midwife was cycling on a track in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on October 20, 2020.
Video footage of Gray’s interview with police showed her telling officers “I can’t remember” when asked for details of what happened during the incident.
In the footage, police officers asked Gray how Ms. Ward ended up on the road.
“I think if the bike swerved, it ended up on the road,” she replied.
When asked if she touched the bike or rider during the incident, Gray replied, “Only in a vague way,” before adding that she touched her “lightly.”
Later in the interview, officers showed her CCTV footage of the collision and pointed out that they could see Gray’s lips moving.
She then told officers she had asked Ms Ward to “slow down.”
They also showed Gray stills of the footage, pointing out to Gray that her hand was on it [Ms Ward’s] jacket’.
When prompted to explain this, Gray said again, “I can’t remember.”
The audio of Gray telling Ms. Ward to ‘get off the goddamn curb’ was then played to her by the officers.
Gray said she couldn’t hear what was being said on the audio.
She was later asked to explain what she meant by yelling the expletive at Mrs. Ward, to which she replied, “I can’t remember.”
Gray was also asked why she didn’t stay to speak to emergency services after Ms Ward was hit by the car.
She said, “They weren’t there.”
When she was pushed she added: ‘She was being helped and you could hear police and stuff coming.
‘I didn’t know I had to [stay].’
Gray (pictured during the incident) was convicted of manslaughter after she beckoned Mrs Ward to get off the curb in a ‘hostile and aggressive’ manner
Site of fatal accident – a one-way street in Nursery Road, seven minutes’ walk from Auriol’s house. She was walking down the sidewalk to nearby stores when she confronted the retired cyclist
The court heard that Gray had expressed ‘no remorse’ for her actions until sentencing and had run away before emergency services arrived at the scene of the accident – despite admitting to police that she had heard sirens along the way.
It is clear that she will appeal her sentencewith a warning from her defense attorney that she risks losing her house and all her belongings if she stays in jail.
Her lawyer, Ms Moore, told a judge: ‘She has no one to support her except a friend and no family at all. She has no financial support at all except a benefit from the state.
“If she goes to jail today, she would lose her home and have no one to store her belongings. She doesn’t know what would happen to them.’
But despite the defense’s claims, a judge said Gray’s actions were “not explained by disability.”
Gray was reportedly warned to expect a prison sentence, but still believed she would only receive a suspended term.