May 24 2013 Latest news:
By Emma Youle
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
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.
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”.
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.”