a ‘childlike’ handicapped and partially blind woman who was in jail for manslaughter, told police she “couldn’t remember” telling a cyclist to “get off the damn curb” seconds before the pensioner was killed by a car.
Auriol Grey, 49, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month after her outburst caused grandmother Celia Ward, 77, to lose her footing and fall onto the road, where she was hit by a car and killed.
Video footage of her interview with police shows her telling them, “I can’t remember” when asked for details of what happened during the incident.
Grey, who has cerebral palsy, is said to have made physical contact with Ms Ward before she lost her balance, but left the scene to run errands and told police she had not spoken to emergency services because “they weren’t there”.
It comes after her sentence was criticized by campaigners as being extremely harsh on Grey, who has only one boyfriend and is estranged from her family.
Auriol Grey, 49, has cerebral palsy and is partially blind – she was described as ‘childlike’ and is estranged from her family
The tragic accident happened as the retired midwife was cycling on a track in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on October 20, 2020.
In the footage, police officers asked Gray how Ms. Ward ended up on the road.
“I think if the bike swerved, it ended up on the road,” she replied.
When asked if she touched the bike or rider during the incident, Gray replied, “Only in a vague way,” before adding that she touched her “lightly.”
She also initially said she “couldn’t remember” if she had said anything to Ms Ward.
Later in the interview, officers showed her CCTV footage of the collision and pointed out that they could see Gray’s lips moving.
She then told officers she had asked Ms Ward to “slow down.”
They also showed Gray stills of the footage, pointing out to Gray that her hand was on it [Ms Ward’s] jacket’.
When prompted to explain this, Gray said again, “I can’t remember.”
Gray repeatedly told police she “couldn’t remember” the details of the incident that led to Ms Ward’s death
Gray left the scene of the collision before emergency services arrived and went to a local supermarket
Footage released by the CPS showed Gray’s interview after she was arrested
Gray was shown stills of camera footage and played back the tape and audio
The audio of Gray telling Ms. Ward to ‘get off the goddamn curb’ was then played to her by the officers.
Gray said she couldn’t hear what was being said on the audio.
She was later asked to explain what she meant by yelling the expletive at Mrs. Ward, to which she replied, “I can’t remember.”
Gray was also asked why she didn’t stay to speak to emergency services after Ms Ward was hit by the car.
She said, “They weren’t there.”
When she was pushed she added: ‘She was being helped and you could hear police and stuff coming.
‘I didn’t know I had to [stay].’
The court heard that Gray had expressed ‘no remorse’ for her actions until sentencing and had run away before emergency services arrived at the scene of the accident – despite admitting to police that she had heard sirens along the way.
It is clear that she will appeal her sentencewith a warning from her defense attorney that she risks losing her house and all her belongings if she stays in jail.
Her attorney Miranda Moore KC told a judge, “She has no one to support her except a friend and no family at all. She has no financial support at all other than a benefit from the state.
“If she goes to jail today, she would lose her home and have no one to store her belongings. She doesn’t know what would happen to them.’
Gray has lived on his own for 17 years. Her sister Genny, seven years her senior, died two years ago, but even before that, the two rarely had contact.
CCTV footage showed Ms Ward falling onto the road just before being hit by a car
She has almost no contact with her mother, who says Gray has struggled with brain damage at birth for years.
But a judge said her actions were “not explained by disability.”
Gray was reportedly warned to expect a custodial sentence, but still believed she would only receive a suspended term.
Her ground floor basic apartment is run by a charity that provides homes for disabled people who want to live independently.
Neighbors previously said she was known for her bad temper, was seen as a “loner” and was often heard yelling and swearing in her flat.
One, who lives opposite Gray, told MailOnline: ‘We have paper thin walls and sometimes I could hear her having heated phone conversations with people telling them to fuck off.
“I never knew who she went to, but it was on the phone because she never had visitors.”
But another neighbor disagreed. Carrie Tooke, 51, an executive assistant, told MailOnline: ‘I can’t believe someone as nice as she can be treated like this.
“It’s very, very cruel.”
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Sean Enright acknowledged Grey’s problems, but told her they “do not diminish your understanding of right or wrong.”
Judge Enright said he could only order an immediate jail sentence, telling Gray she “disliked the presence of an approaching cyclist” and that her actions “are not accounted for by disability.”
“This was a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, I’m sure you knew cyclists used the path and were not surprised,” the judge said.
The verdict has also been branded “extremely harsh” by disability campaigners.
Fazilet Hadi, head of policy at Disability Rights UK, told MailOnline: ‘This was a truly tragic incident, with Celia losing her life, and I feel sadness and sympathy for all involved. The punishment given to Auriol seems extremely severe.
‘With the increasing number of cyclists, we need good separation of pedestrians, cyclists and cars, so that we can keep each other safe.
‘Government and municipalities must review the guidelines to guarantee safe streets.’