Cyclist accused of causing first e-bike death was ‘10mph over speed limit,’ court hears

Thomas Hanlon is accused of causing death by dangerous driving

Police tape (Getty)

The cyclist accused of causing the first e-bike death in the UK was riding 10mph over the speed limit, a court has heard.

Thomas Hanlon has appeared in court charged with causing the death of 56-year-old Sakine Cihan in August 2018.

Hanlon was riding his e-bike in east London when he collided with Ms Cihan, who died in hospital the following day from a “catastrophic” head injury, the London Evening Standard reports.

The defendant appeared at the Old Bailey on Wednesday (February 26) and denies charges of causing death while uninsured and causing death while unlicensed, as we as causing death by careless driving.

Hanlon’s bike was powered by a battery, but the court heard it is classed as a motorcycle and not an e-bike because it was capable of travelling faster than the 15.5mph legal limit.

The court was also told that Hanlon was travelling at around 30mph at the time of the crash.

Prosecutor Nathan Rasiah said: “The vehicle that Mr Hanlon was riding was fitted with a motor that could propel the vehicle at a much greater speed.

“In short, the prosecution case against him was that he was driving without due care and attention and that carelessness was a cause of the collision and the death of Ms Cihan."

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The court heard that in an interview Hanlon admitted leaving the scene but said he didn’t have a chance to swerve to avoid Ms Cihan as she crossed the road.

Ms Cihan's death is believed to be the first pedestrian death and a collision with an e-bike in the UK.

The incident happened on August 28, 2018 in Kingsland High Street in Dalston, east London.

The case at the Old Bailey in central London continues.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.