London

Regent Street cyclist death private prosecution clears driver

Michael Mason Image copyright PA
Image caption The court heard Michael Mason died after he landed head first in the road

A woman taken to court in an "unusual" private prosecution over the death of a cyclist has been cleared of careless driving.

The Old Bailey heard Michael Mason was knocked off his bike when he was hit by Gail Purcell's Nissan on Regent Street in February 2014.

Mr Mason, 70, never regained consciousness and died days later.

Ms Purcell, 59, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving.

The case was brought by the Cyclists' Defence Fund after the police decided not to pass the file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Mason's daughter Anna Tatton-Brown said the decision to bring a private prosecution had been vindicated by the judge ruling there was a case for the jury to answer.

"It has been harrowing and draining to have to relive what happened to my dad, to hear witnesses talk of him in the immediate aftermath," she said.

"But this has been made worthwhile by the feeling that, whatever the verdict, the evidence has been heard and assessed in a court of law and decided on by a jury.

"This was never about retribution... this was about allowing the justice system of our land take its full and proper course.

"We all felt that there was enough of a case to answer, and that the evidence needed proper assessment in a court of law."

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