The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) has renewed its appeal for funds on the second anniversary of the collision that resulted in the death of Michael Mason. The appeal, which was set up to help Mason’s family pursue a private prosecution against the driver of the car, has thus far raised around £60,000 of its £75,000 target.
Mason, known as Mick, died in hospital in March 2014 just days after his 70th birthday from injuries sustained when he was hit from behind by a car on London’s Regent Street 19 days earlier.
The inquest into Mason's death returned a finding of accidental death with the driver accepting that if the cyclist was there she should have seen him.
Martin Porter QC, who represented the family at the inquest, wrote on his blog: "Witness evidence and CCTV evidence … left no doubt that no witness aside from the Nissan driver failed to see Mr Mason on his bicycle."
Despite this, the Metropolitan police decided not to press charges on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence – something CDF believes was a clear breach of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines.
Following work from CDF, the Metropolitan Police seemingly changed its position in March 2015 and said it would refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Five days later, that statement was withdrawn. This was done without first notifying Mason’s family.
Speaking at the time, former CDF Co-ordinator Rhia Favero commented: “The Met’s erratic briefings to the media – without informing the bereaved family or their lawyer – shows unbelievable incompetence and insensitivity.”
At the time of writing, the Justice For Michael campaign has raised almost £60,000 via 1,481 donations. Writing on the CTC website, Sam Jones says that this has allowed CDF to obtain an expert report and instruct an independent QC to advise on the proposed prosecution.
It is hoped that a private prosecution of the driver will be launched soon.