Cyclists’ Defence Fund renews appeal for funding ahead of first private prosecution for causing death whilst driving

Trial of driver involved in collision with Michael Mason to begin next week

Cycling UK’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) has again appealed for funding ahead of the private prosecution of a driver involved in a fatal collision with a cyclist. Next Monday (April 3), Gail Purcell will go on trial at the Old Bailey for the collision that resulted in the death of Michael Mason after over £80,000 was raised through crowd funding.

Mason 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 Metropolitan Police declined to prosecute Purcell, even though she could not explain why she had failed to see him when many other witnesses had.

Following donations to the Justice For Michael campaign, CDF launched what is believed to be the first private prosecution brought in England and Wales for causing death whilst driving.

In a hearing last year, Purcell pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving, and the case was subsequently listed for a six day trial.

Writing on the Cycling UK website, the organisation’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigner, Duncan Dollimore, appealed for further donations:

“This prosecution would not have been possible without incredible crowd funding support, in relation to which Cycling UK, CDF and most importantly Mick's family are immensely grateful.

“The funds raised so far will not currently cover the entirety of the prosecution costs, and should CDF not raise enough, the balance will be met by CDF's reserves. If you are able to and wish to support Mick's family, and contribute to the costs of this case, you can still do so by donating online via Justice for Michael.

“This case was brought as a private prosecution because many people believed the evidence should be heard and put before a jury. That will happen next week, but would not have been possible without all of you. Thank you.”

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