Belfast Telegraph

Injured woman offers £2,000 reward to find hit-and-run cyclist

By David Young

A Belfast woman who was scarred by a hit-and-run cyclist has put up a £2,000 reward for information that could track down her assailant.

Andrea McVeigh was injured when a pavement cyclist slammed into her as she walked with her husband along a London street.

The shaven-headed cyclist grinned as he made off, while Andrea (44) lay injured in a pool of blood on the pavement.

"I was skittled," she said.

"It was such a violent collision. I just went flying, and hit the pavement with my face," she said.

"I've now got two scars on my forehead,

"I've got a completely busted little finger which I have to go and get re X-rayed, and I still have a great big lump on my ankle."

Andrea, who handles client social media for a London advertising agency, had to take three weeks off work because of the incident. She said that at first the Metropolitan Police did little to help her.

"I knew there were CCTV cameras covering the place where I was hit, but the police just didn't seem to be interested," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

It was only when social media expert Andrea tackled the local Southwark police commander in a live Twitter Q&A session that things began to move.

Officers eventually viewed the CCTV footage, and released a still image of the man they are now seeking.

Chief Superintendent Zander Gibson, borough commander for Southwark, told reporters: "It must have been an awful encounter for the victim, both physically and emotionally - and she has my heartfelt sympathy for what she went through.

"There was a delay in following this investigation up but I am confident we are now taking appropriate steps to identify the person responsible."

Two months on from the incident, Andrea says she remains nervous about going out.

"I'm still really jittery. You think you're safe on the pavement - but you're not."

She's determined to do all she can to bring the man who injured her to justice, which is why she and her husband Patrick Baird have put up the £2,000 reward for information that would lead police to the cyclist.

"It's a lot of money," said Andrea, who also writes a weekly column for the Belfast Telegraph.

"I don't earn a lot of money. I don't own property. I don't own a car, but we thought - it's worth it if it results in something."

Next week the manhunt steps up a gear when a reconstruction of the crash is to be featured in BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow programme in a further bid to bring the hit-and-run cyclist to justice for a crime his victim will never forget.

The Crimewatch Roadshow airs on Monday, June 15 at 9.15am on BBC One

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