A woman accused of knocking down and killing a cyclist has been cleared of careless driving following a crowdfunded private prosecution.
Gail Purcell, 59, allegedly failed to spot Michael Mason, 70, as he rode along Regent Street in central London.
Her car hit Mason, and he was thrown into the air, landing head-first in the road, the court heard. He never regained consciousness and died days after the collision in February 2014.
The jury at the Old Bailey took 17 minutes to clear Purcell, of St Albans, of causing death by careless driving.
Cycling UK’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), said it had taken up the case after the Metropolitan police refused to refer it to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether to charge Purcell.
The organisation brought the prosecution with support from more than 2,000 people who donated more than £80,000 to help fund the case.
Anna Tatton-Brown, Mason’s daughter, said: “My family and I respect the decision the jury have reached, although we are obviously disappointed.
“It seems that failing to be aware of what’s in front of you while you’re driving is an acceptable mistake, not careless, and that no explanation for that failure is necessary.
“We do, however, draw some comfort from the fact that the evidence was finally put to a jury, something that should have happened long ago. It should not have taken the intervention of CDF, and the support of many members of the public, to bring this case to court.