The defense attorney for a 35-year-old Norwegian man made an impassioned plea in an Oslo city court on Wednesday that his client be acquitted of charges of negligent homicide. Prosecutors, however, claim his reckless cycling caused the death of a 46-year-old woman.
The tragedy unfolded last fall, when the defendant, a nurse in Oslo, was cycling home at the end of his night shift. To avoid cycling on the busy boulevard known as Kirkeveien, he rode his bike down the sidewalk, admittedly cycling too fast and swerving around pedestrians.
As he cycled eastward from Sognsveien, he collided with another cyclist, the 46-year-old woman. She fell off her bike and into the busy street, where she was run over by a bus and killed.
The man has thus been charged in her death, and prosecutors claim he must be punished with 30 days in jail. Reckless cycling has been a major issue in Oslo lately, and cyclists must learn to obey traffic laws like all others, prosecutors claim, even though they admitted “he’s no killer .”
The cyclist’s defense attorney, Thomas Randby, concedes that his client broke two portions of the road traffic law but asked the judge to be reasonable “in head, heart and gut feelings.” His client, he claimed, deeply regrets what happened, and Randby also strongly criticized police evidence presented at the trial that began on Monday.
The case is the first in Norway in which a cyclist is charged with homicide. His reckless cycling is why he’s the one facing charges and not the driver of the bus that ran over the woman. After three days in court, a verdict is expected within a few weeks.