The cyclist who knocked over a 5-year-old girl to the ground has been handed a suspended sentence and ordered to pay the family a symbolic €1 compensation.
A video of the incident went viral on social media after it was shared by the girl’s father. In the video, the girl can be seen walking by her mother’s side as the biker approaches from behind.
He then knocks over the girl and continues on his way without bothering to look back.
The judge agreed the biker had been riding too fast and there had not been enough space to overtake safely but didn’t impose an immediate custodial sentence, Le Soir reported.
In suspending the sentence, the court considered factors such as the defendant’s character, lack of previous convictions, and seriousness of the case.
The court said that “the cyclist (had) dealt, by lack of foresight or precaution, an involuntary blow, without intention to attack the person of others.”
“The defendant should have taken into account the climatic conditions [snow and frost] and the presence of many people including children, on this holiday, to adapt his speed and his conduct,” it added.
At an earlier hearing on February 3, the cyclist said: “When I left my home and set off, there was hardly anyone there.
“It was only on this portion, of about 1 kilometre, near the Baraque Michel, that there were a lot of pedestrians.
“I braked, I adapted my speed and I activated my 120 decibel horn. As I passed the little girl, I felt my rear wheel slipping. To avoid the fall I rebalanced myself by doing a knee movement. I felt that I had touched the little girl but I did not immediately realise that she had fallen.”
The man continued: “The father grabbed me by the shoulders and yelled.
“I apologised by telling him I had not seen her. Since she was threatening me, I went on my way when I saw that the little girl had got up and was not injured.”
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