Tuesday, 5 October 2010


On Wednesday the 29th September 2010, at the end of what felt like one of the longest days, and years, of my life, I was found not guilty of the charge brought against me by the CPS.

When originally charged at the police station, I was informed there wasn’t any CCTV footage of the incident and also that my witness was a “figment of my imagination.” A grim few days followed and then this unfolded:

I contacted www.londoncyclist.co.uk and asked if they would tweet a witness appeal out to the masses. They subsequently fired my story out to thousands of followers. Thanks to many wonderful souls the story quickly went viral in only a few hours. One of those who read the story was Ross Lydall, Chief News Correspondent at the Evening Standard (@rosslydall).

Ross got in touch and an article was soon published in the Evening Standard. To my amazement, the “figment of my imagination” read that article and contacted me. Not just that, but another witness also read the article and came forward. Both of them witnessed my argument with the taxi driver and saw the taxi driver grab me by my scarf and violently strangle me unconscious.

My witness testified that on three separate occasions he attempted to explain and give his details to the arresting officer but was dismissed each time. This same arresting officer assured me, in his squad car and later at the police station, that he had taken the details of that witness.

Two months later, when that same officer informed me I was being charged for assault, I was horrified to discover the police had no record at all of my witness. My arresting officer denied that he had ever spoken to me about the witness and then suggested the witness was a figment of my imagination.

Not only did that witness exist, but he was so moved by what he had experienced that he wrote detailed notes of the whole incident and the following day went to his local police station to report his grievance and put himself forward as a witness.

For whatever reason, that police station did not forward those details onto the investigation. Thankfully their inaction didn’t prove costly, and his damning evidence and testimony were crucial in proving my innocence. As was the other witness, an Oxford Street shop manager, returning to work at the time, who saw the whole incident. I cannot thank them both enough.

Although obviously a huge personal victory for me, it’s also a wonderful illustration of the phenomenal power of social networking as a tool to empower those of us who don’t have a voice against authority. This simply could not have happened a few years ago. There are now, more than ever, fewer places for the bad people to hide.

Thank you, The Twitter, and huge thanks to all of you who helped share the love.


Saturday, 29 May 2010


I created this blog to reach out to the twitterverse in the hope that one of you, or someone you know, may have witnessed the incident below that led to me being charged by the CPS. If there is someone you believe might have been in the area at the time, then I urge you to forward this to them. Thank you very much for reading.

On Tuesday March 9th, at around 5.30pm, I was cycling west along Oxford Street, London, near Dean Street, when a taxi suddenly swerved across the front of me to pick up a fare and we collided. Following a brief verbal exchange, the taxi driver grabbed the scarf around my neck and strangled me until I was unconscious. When I regained consciousness the police were on the scene.

What seemed an open and shut case in my favour has gone horribly wrong in light of the appalling fact that the subsequent investigation failed to retrieve CCTV footage and also failed to secure the details of a witness who saw the entire incident. This witness was giving me first aid when I regained consciousness and assured me he had seen everything. The policeman on the scene assured me, twice, that he had taken the details of that witness. Two months later, when I was charged, I queried that same police officer about that witness and he denied his existence. According to him the witness is a "Figment of my imagination. You have made him up."

The taxi driver's defence is that I attacked him without provocation. A passenger in the car behind saw the scuffle and believes he may have seen a singular punch thrown, although crucially states he didn't see a punch connect (there certainly was a scuffle, I was having the life strangled out of me at the time) and on that basis, regardless of damning photographic evidence that shows vicious swollen bruising around my neck (backed up by the police medical examiner's report that indicates the same), because I have no witness or CCTV evidence to corroborate my story, the CPS has taken the taxi driver's version of events and charged me with assault.

In a week's time I will enter a plea of not guilty. My solicitor has warned me that legal costs could be around £5,000, and that's just if the CPS find me not guilty. This is a huge kick in the teeth and leaves me on the brink of a criminal record for a crime I did not commit, while the person who was extremely violent towards me hasn't even been cautioned.

Somewhere out there in this wonderful London town is *that* witness, and maybe a passing cyclist, motorist or pedestrian who also witnessed the taxi driver strangling me. If so, I really hope you are reading this.

I have canvassed all shops in the area for witnesses and private CCTV and return this week to speak to opposite shifts and put up notices. I have queried Westminster CCTV, along with their Traffic Wardens & Refuse Collectors who were working in the area at that time, and also queried London Transport about static and vehicle cameras. I am aiming to get ads and letters in the London press this week.

Someone out there must have seen something.

If you have any information, please email: cyclewitness@gmail.com

Thank you for your time.

Kindest regards,


For the record I have no previous charges or cautions and am more inclined to want to talk to people rather than attempt to murder them.

You can find out more about me HERE