Cyclist's family match donations for private prosecution

Michael Mason was killed whilst cycling in London

The bereaved family of Michael Mason, who was hit whilst cycling in London in February 2014, have offered to match donations to fund a private prosecution of the driver involved in the crash. 

Mr Mason was hit from behind on the evening of 25 February 2014 on Regent Street by a car driver.

The reconstruction of the collision showed that Mr Mason was directly in front of the driver's seat, yet the driver stated at inquest that she was "totally unaware of the cyclist" before she hit him. 

No helmet or hi-vis

The police report into the investigation of Mr Mason's death referenced the fact that Mr Mason had not been wearing a helmet or hi-vis clothing at the time of the crash, despite neither of these being a legal requirement for riding a bicycle.

There is little evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of hi-vis clothing at making cyclists visible in well lit urban environments. Similarly, helmets have not been proven to protect the brain from all types of brain injury. 

The suggestion that the chances of a guilty verdict or plea are somehow lessened because Mr Mason was not wearing hi-vis or a helmet was legally irrelevant and should not have had any bearing on the charging decision.

Police inaction

The driver was not prosecuted for any offence related to the incident. The Metropolitan Police never referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for consideration, as is recommended in charging guidance in all fatal road incidents. 

Mr Mason's family made a formal complaint about the lack of police action. Following the complaint, the Police announced to the media that the case would be passed to the CPS, only to retract their statement days later. Again this was done via the media with no prior communication with Mr Mason's family.    

With the avenue of public prosecution closed, Mr Mason's family enlisted the help of the Cyclists' Defence Fund. CDF is raising raise funds to carry out a private prosecution. 

Match fund

Over £27,000 has been raised since the 'Justice for Michael' appeal launched in December 2014.

In response to the donations, Mr Mason's daughter Anna said "As a family, it has moved us greatly that so many people not only share our feelings about this injustice, but have also been giving so generously to help us fight it. As a modest and unassuming man, Mick would have been overwhelmed by this."

Mr Mason's family are now offering to match all new donations up to a total value of £9000 in the hope that more people will be motivated to support the cause.

Please follow this link if you would like to donate to the appeal

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