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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Coroner condemns street cyclists
CCTV picture of cyclist
The cyclist was caught on film in Fulham Broadway
A coroner has condemned cyclists who illegally ride on pavements.

An inquest heard Ted Rhodes was punched by a cyclist he "verbally abused" for riding on the pavement in Wandsworth, south-west London, last December.

An open verdict was recorded as post-mortem tests failed to link the punch to Mr Rhodes' death two days later.

But Dr Paul Knapman said he did not blame him for getting annoyed at what he regarded as a "flagrant disregard for the law".

He added: "This is a huge problem in parts of London, if not across the country. Nobody takes any notice or seems to do anything about it."

"Four pints"

Mr Rhodes, 69, a former BBC script-writer, adapted veterinary classic All Creatures Great and Small for television and worked on Z Cars and Dr Who.

Police launched a murder investigation but there have been no arrests.

The coroner's court heard Mr Rhodes had been at a pub near his flat with his friend Christopher Borg who estimated they had drunk four pints each when they left at about 2215 GMT.

Mr Borg said they crossed the road and were just outside Mr Rhodes' flat when he started gesturing towards a black man on a pedal bike riding on the pavement.

Mr Borg agreed Mr Rhodes had shouted at the man in a verbally and racially abusive manner.

Internal bleeding

"The cyclist got off his bike and punched Ted, then got back on and whizzed off.

Two days later, Mr Rhodes' daughter went round to visit him and found him dead and lying partially clothed in the hallway.

Post-mortem tests showed he died of internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen and that he also had broken ribs and a broken jaw.

Forensic pathologist, Dr Robert Chapman, said it would be "extremely difficult" to establish a clear link between the assault and Mr Rhodes' death.

According to his daughter Mr Rhodes had campaigned against cyclists riding on pavements since he was knocked down by one five years ago.




SEE ALSO:
Appeal after 'cycle rage' death
11 Jan 04  |  London


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