Cyclist who knocked over five-year-old given suspended sentence

Cyclist who knocked over five-year-old given suspended sentence
Credit: Facebook

The cyclist who appeared on a video knocking over a five-year-old-girl in Belgium around Christmas last year has received a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay the family a symbolic €1 in damages.

The Verviers court ruled on Wednesday that the 60-year-old man, who had been accused by the prosecution of deliberately knocking the young girl over, will receive a suspended sentence, which means that the judge considered the facts to be proven, but will not pronounce the sentence.

The cyclist “inflicted unintentional blows due to a lack of caution or precaution, without the intention of harming anyone else,” the latest court ruling stated.

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The court took into account that the man had no previous criminal record and the reaction which took place on social media following the incident when considering the verdict.

The cyclist has been ordered to pay the girl's family €1 in symbolic damages, a relatively common practice in cases such as these.

The man, who presented himself to the police following the incident after a call for witnesses was put out, previously appeared before the Correctional Court in Verviers at the beginning of February.

The video recorded by the father of the child, which was later posted on Facebook, showed a cyclist turning the bend and extending his knee to knock the girl over.

Based on this evidence, he was originally questioned for the intentional assault and battery to a minor.

In court, he explained that he did not have the intention of hurting the girl, and said he only put out his knee to ‘rebalance himself’.

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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