October 11 2016
The trial of the driver accused of causing the death of cyclist Michael Mason by careless driving will start at the Old Bailey on April 3, 2017, with the judge indicating it will last six days. Gail Purcell has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Mason, known as Mick, died in hospital in March 2014, shortly after his 70th birthday having been hit from behind by a car on London’s Regent Street 19 days earlier.
The private prosecution has been brought on behalf of Mason’s family by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF). It was launched after the Metropolitan Police Service decided not to press charges and has been funded by over £65,000 of donations via JustGiving.
Purcell indicated she intended to plead not guilty in September. However, district judge Kenneth Grant said the seriousness of the offence meant it could not be heard at magistrates’ court.
A second hearing was held today at the Old Bailey.
Cycling UK’s Duncan Dollimore, spokesperson for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, said:
“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. 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.”