Hung jury may mean retrial for driver who killed Kent cyclist

Ayasha Penfold hit cyclist John Durey in head-on crash in May last year

A motorist from Kent who was charged with causing the death of a cyclist through dangerous driving may face a retrial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case.

John Durey, aged 69, was killed when he was hit head-on by a Mercedes driven by Ayasha Penfold, 20, in May last year, reports Kent Online.

Mr Durey, from Lenham, had been taking part in a time trial at Kingsnorth, near Ashford.

Penfold, who was on the wrong side of the road after overtaking two vehicles before she hit Mr Durey, admitted causing his death through careless driving but pleaded not guilty to the more serious charge of causing death through dangerous driving.

At the conclusion of the four-day trial, the jury was unable to reach a majority decision of whether she was guilty of the more serious offence.

Ahmed Hossain, prosecuting, told the court: “She was driving in the opposite direction when her vehicle struck Mr Durey head on causing him severe injuries which resulted in his death on June 5 last year.

“The road was clear. There was good visibility and it was a straight passage of road.”

He added that Mr Durey would have been visible to the driver for at least 45 seconds.

Penfold, who has been bailed pending a future hearing and given an interim ban from driving, said in her defence: "I felt the lorry and car in front of me were moving slowly and I wanted to overtake them."

The Crown Prosecution Service needs to apply for a retrial within the next week following the lack of a decision at Canterbury Crown Court.

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Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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