Motorist Gail Purcel has pleaded not guilty to the charge of causing death by careless driving to cyclist Michael Mason, contrary to section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Purcell appeared today at the Old Bailey for the second hearing into the offence. Following a crowdsourced funding campaign that raised £66,000 from over 1,500 supporters, the case – which relates to a collision that took place in London on February 25th, 2014 – was brought to court as a private prosecution by Cycling UK’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF).
Mason sustained an injury to his brain following the collision on Regent Street, and life support was switched off 19 days after the incident.
Although the collision was investigated at the time, the Metropolitan police decided not to prosecute, failing to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The police revisited their decision on March 12th, 2015, due to media interest and ongoing work by the CDF.
Purcell indicated she intended to plead not guilty at the first hearing, held at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in front of District Judge Grant on September 13th, 2016.
“With a trial date set for 03 April next year the Mason family will have had to wait three years since Mick’s tragic death for this case to be heard," said Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore, spokesperson for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund. "This unnecessary delay was entirely avoidable if the Metropolitan Police had followed guidelines and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service."
“Fortunately, the wider public’s support, both moral and financial, has allowed Cycling UK’s CDF to bring this crowdsourced private prosecution. We cannot thank them enough for helping Mick’s family on their journey to achieve justice.”
Purcell faces a trial on April 3rd, 2017 at the Old Bailey, which has been set to last six days.