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Motorist Gail Purcell pleads not guilty to causing cyclist's death through careless driving...

A judge has said that a private prosecution of a motorist for allegedly causing the death by careless driving of London cyclist Michael Mason can proceed.

Mr Mason, also known as Mick, died in hospital in March 2014, nearly three weeks after the collision on Regent Street involving a Nissan Juke driven by 58-year-old Gail Purcell of St Albans, Hertfordshire.

The 70-year-old, a teacher at Westminster’s Grey Coat Hospital girls’ school, sustained “severe traumatic brain injury” as a result of the crash.

The private prosecution has been brought on behalf of Mr Mason’s family by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), the first such action it has instigated.

It was launched after the Metropolitan Police Service decided not to press charges, and is funded by donations from the public which have reached almost £64,000 made through the website Just Giving.

At Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, Ms Purcell pleaded not guilty to the charge, reports the London Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall.

District judge Kenneth Grant gave the go-ahead for the private prosecution, but said the seriousness of the offence meant it could not be heard at magistrates’ court.

Instead, the case, which has been adjourned until 11 October, will be tried at Southwark Crown Court.

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Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.