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Taxi passenger fined £80 after dooring incident that led to death of cyclist

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A woman has been fined £80 after a cyclist was killed when she opened a taxi door and knocked him into the path of a moving van.

Sam Boulton, a local teacher, was killed on his 26th birthday outside Leicester railway station when Mandy Chapple, 56, opened the door of the taxi as he was riding past. Chapple said she was sitting behind the taxi driver and looked before opening the door but said she was not been able to see clearly.

Chapple pleaded guilty to one charge of opening a vehicle door so as to inure or endanger another person. Taxi driver Farook Bhikhu, 56, pleaded not guilty to a charge of permitting the opening of vehicle door so as to injure or endanger a person and will face trial in June.

A spokesman for Cycling UK said the lenient sentences handed down for the offence “possibly explains the reluctance to prosecute in many of the nearly 500 cases each year where a cyclist is seriously injured, or sometimes as in Sam’s case killed, as a consequence of somebody opening their car door without looking or care for those on two wheels”.

A lawyer for Mrs Chapple said the incident had “very badly” affected his client’s nerves and that she “is very sorry”.