The cyclist who brought down a girl defends himself in court: “I rebalanced myself”

The sixty-year-old, for whom a call for witnesses had been launched after the video was posted on social networks, explained this Wednesday.

Lhe cyclist, born in 1959, who knocked down a 5-year-old girl while she was walking in the Fagnes with her family on December 25, appeared before the Verviers criminal court on Wednesday.

The prosecution accuses him of having deliberately made the little girl fall in order to be able to pass, without dismounting.

The sixty-year-old, for whom a call for witnesses had been launched after the video was posted on social networks, explained this Wednesday.

The cyclist defends himself

During the hearing, the cyclist came back to this day of December 25 and explained that he had no intention of causing this 5-year-old girl to fall and hurt. “When I left my home and set off, there was hardly anyone there. It was only on this portion, of about 1km, near the Baraque Michel, that there were a lot of pedestrians. I braked, I adapted my speed and I activated my 120 decibel horn ”, detailed the defendant who assures that without a slip on the end of the snow-covered road, he had enough room to pass on the road. right.

“At the height of the little girl, I felt that my rear wheel was slipping. To avoid the fall I rebalanced myself by doing a knee movement. I felt that I had touched the little girl but I did not immediately realize that she had fallen, ”continued the 60-year-old. It was only by seeing the face and expression of the girl’s dad, who had filmed the scene, that the cyclist understood. “Dad grabbed me by the shoulders and cried out. I apologized by telling her that I had not seen her. As he was threatening I continued my journey when I saw that the little one had got up and that she was not injured. “

The parquet floor not convinced

A version of the facts that does not share the prosecution which considers that the cyclist voluntarily brought a knee to the child.

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“In his hearing, the defendant described pedestrians, generally as being nonchalant and paying little attention to cyclists. On December 25, given the weather and the confinement, the Fagnes were the land of nonchalance. Many families were present there to relax and take advantage of the few authorized distractions ”, indicated, in his indictment, the deputy public prosecutor who is convinced“ that annoyed by the fact of having had to avoid several obstacles altogether. along his route the cyclist, exasperated, decided to bring a knee to the child to release the umpteenth obstacle that was in its path. “

The prosecution also returned to the publication of images on social networks and the media coverage of the case which prompted the prosecution to react urgently, “as we perceived that the case could go wrong, given the appeals to private justice in particular. If for the public prosecutor, the media coverage had an impact on the speed of treatment of the case, it had no impact on the orientation of the case. “If the gentleman is cited today, it is for intentional assault and battery on a minor and for his attitude. If he had recognized the facts, alternative measures could have been considered ”, underlined the public prosecutor who will not oppose the measures of favors which could be granted to the defendant.

The parents of the girl, who have taken action and claim a symbolic euro, against the cyclist who did not redouble the caution as he should have done and who could also have chosen another day or another route for his bike ride.

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On the defense side, we are contesting the intention of the facts. With a certificate from an ATV instructor, the defense lawyer intends to prove the necessity of the rebalancing movement to avoid the fall.

The defendant’s lawyer also underlined “the disproportionate and surprising manner in which the prosecution handled this case. The child’s father presented himself to the police, with a medical certificate attesting that his daughter had no consequences but wished to file a complaint because the cyclist had not validly apologized. The father then authorized a friend to post the images of his family on social networks, ”explained the lawyer who continued. “After having had contact with the father of the child who told him that he had made a complaint, my client asked him if it was possible to remove the video posted on social networks, which the family refused. After this conversation, my client immediately called the police where he went to explain himself. He was deprived of his liberty for the time of his hearing but also a whole night for not having validly apologized ”, regretted the council which claims, mainly, the acquittal of his client.

Judgment expected on March 3.

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