Cyclist who hit toddler denies danger riding

A cyclist who mowed down a toddler and dragged her 12ft along the pavement has denied riding his bike dangerously.

Andrew Holland, 24, collided with three-year-old Lucie Wilding as she stepped out of her front gate.

Andrew Holland of Blackpool, Lancs., arriving at Blackpool Magistrates Court

Andrew Holland of Blackpool, Lancs., arriving at Blackpool Magistrates Court

She was dragged face-down along the street when her tiny body got caught in his pedals.

The heart-stopping moment was caught on her family’s CCTV camera.

At Blackpool Magistrates Court yesterday, Holland, of Campbell Avenue, North Shore, pleaded not guilty to riding a cycle dangerously.

Chrissie Hunt, prosecuting, said: “It’s fairly straight forward as far as I can see. It’s a fairly wide pavement and the crown would say he was travelling on the pavement at speed.

It’s fairly straight forward as far as I can see. It’s a fairly wide pavement and the crown would say he was travelling on the pavement at speed

“There’s no avoiding action taken. Had the defendant been riding on the road and that child walked out, he would have been in the right.”

In graphic CCTV footage shown to magistrates, Lucie can be seen following her mum Lauren Howarth out of their home on Collingwood Avenue, Blackpool, and on to the pavement before Holland appears on his bike from nowhere.

Holland’s solicitor Mr Townley told the court how after colliding with Lucie, Holland was flung over his handlebars and landed on the pavement.

The court heard he made no efforts, however, to check how Lucie was, and it’s claimed he began swearing at the family before his father happened to drive past the scene and pick him up.

Lucie was taken by her parents to Blackpool Victoria Hospital A&E where she was found to have head injuries caused by the bike’s tyre.

Speaking from the witness box, Holland, who was smartly dressed a suit and tie, said: “I saw the lady walk out in front of me. I rang my bell and slowed down but she didn’t seem to hear me.

“It was the lady I was watching, I didn’t see anybody in the garden.”

Mr Townley added: “It’s the defence’s position that the manner of his riding was not dangerous and there was nothing about his cycling that was dangerous.

“He was riding on the pavement and should not have been but it was not his riding on the pavement that was dangerous.

“He doesn’t know what speed he was travelling at as he doesn’t have a speedometer on his bike but I have no doubt he was not travelling anywhere near 20 miles per hour or the speed limit of the road.”

Holland denies riding his bike dangerously and will return to magistrates court later this month for trial.