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Driver cleared of Finsbury Park cyclist’s manslaughter

17:42 14 December 2012

Sam Harding died last August.

Sam Harding died last August.

Archant

A driver who opened his car door into the path of a cyclist before he crashed to his death under the wheels of a bus was cleared of manslaughter today.

Kenan Aydogdu, 32, had told the Old Bailey he made a “human error” by opening the door of his parked Audi A8 as Sam Harding, 25, biked down Holloway Road, Holloway.

Witnesses said the driver had fully opened the door of his parked car in one go without checking for traffic.

But Aydogdu, of Crossways Road, Hindhead, Surrey, insisted that he had only opened the door “a crack” to check for traffic over his shoulders, and claimed that Mr Harding, of Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, had been cycling too close to his vehicle.

He also said Mr Harding, who was due to move in with his long term girlfriend that day, had lost control shortly before the crash but could not be sure if he hit the bus or car first.

Aydogdu had only owned the car for nine days before the collision on August 6 last year and had tinted the windows, which experts said resulted in 17 per cent transparency of the glass.

Giving evidence during the trial at the Old Bailey, he said: “I didn’t check the mirror. It’s a human error. I made a mistake and I’m just sorry for that.”

Six months later, Turkish-born Aydogdu cheated death when one of his associates was fatally shot in his car outside Turnpike Lane Tube station. Aydogdu was sat in the passenger seat during the hit last February 1.

Aydogdu denied Mr Harding’s manslaughter and was cleared of responsibility for the killing.

He also faces a further charge of making a false statement to obtain car insurance on the day he bought his Audi.

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