A cyclist accused of killing a Lewisham mum by hitting her on his racing bike has said a front brake would have made no difference.

Charlie Alliston was allegedly going 18mph on his bike when he crashed into 44-year-old Kim Briggs as she crossed Old Street in Islington on February 12 last year.

Alliston, then aged 18, was riding a “fixie” bike, which had no front brake, and prosecutors claim he could have avoided the collision if that brake was fitted.

Now aged 20, Alliston, of Trothy Road in Bermondsey, is on trial at the Old Bailey for manslaughter and causing bodily harm by "wanton and furious driving" after Mrs Briggs died in hospital a week after the crash.

Speaking in court, he said he had no idea it was a legal requirement to have a front brake, insisting it would not have made any difference when he saw Mrs Briggs come into the road with a mobile phone.

He said: “It was a few split seconds prior to the impact, which caused the impact, so a brake at the time wouldn't have made a difference."

He said he had worked as a courier for three different companies based in central London for around six to eight months from mid-2015, having dropped out of sixth form, where he was studying photography and business studies.

He told jurors he used the same Cinelli brand fixed-gear road/track bike, which was not fitted with a front brake when he bought it, making around 20 deliveries a day.

He said he did put a front brake on the cycle "at times", but was never made aware of the legal requirement for it, adding he never had an accident in the course of his work.

Alliston said he shouted twice after spotting Mrs Briggs cross the road in front of him.

Asked why he shouted, the defendant replied: "To make the pedestrian aware of my presence so they were aware if they were to then cross the road."

He said he directed a second shout towards Mrs Briggs and slowed down as he approached her and manoeuvred his bike to avoid her.

Alliston said: “After the collision I just jumped straight back up to my feet, turned around, saw what happened and then went blank.

“At the time of the accident I believe I did see Mrs Briggs come out onto the road with a mobile in her hand.”

The court heard that the stunt cyclist makes "alleycat" videos, in which he rides around cities including London "doing dangerous stuff" such as weaving in and out of traffic, narrowly avoiding pedestrians and going into bus lanes.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC said to Alliston: "Had you had a front brake, or rather been on a bike which did have a front brake, that could or would not have happened."

Alliston said: "No. I feel, regardless of whether the brake was on the bike, it would still have happened.”

Mr Penny said: "Is your position, had you been on a butcher's bike, with the world's best brakes, this would still have happened?"

“Yes," said Alliston. "I made the necessary adjustments to my speed."

The trial continues.