Two years on and still waiting for justice for Michael Mason
On 14 March, 19 days after the incident that knocked him off his bike, Michael, known as Mick to friends and family, passed away as a result of his injuries.
Disappointingly, back in 2014 the Metropolitan police decided not to press charges against the driver, she could not explain why she did not see Michael when many other witnesses had. CTC share's the family's view that the police then failed to follow the Crown Prosecution Service's charging standards by making that decision without referring the case to the CPS itself.
Following work from CTC’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) and ongoing pressure from the media, on 12 March last year, shortly before a ride and vigil at Regent Street marking a year since Mick’s death, the Metropolitan Police changed their position, and announced that they would refer the case to the CPS.
This U-turn was broadly welcomed by Mick’s family, CDF and other campaigners for road justice. Six days later, however, in a shocking display of insensitivity, the Metropolitan Police reversed their decision. Furthermore, they informed the media of their decision to no longer refer the case to the CPS, without first notifying Mick’s family.
Speaking at the time, former CDF Co-ordinator Rhia Favero voiced the alarm felt by many over the police's actions: “The Met’s erratic briefings to the media – without informing the bereaved family or their lawyer – shows unbelievable incompetence and insensitivity”.
The ongoing support offered us by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, and the many people who have donated money, is an ongoing source of support and solace."
Mick Mason's daughter
CTC and CDF believe this is yet another case of a driver being absolved of blame simply because they did not see the cyclist they hit. To address this, on 19 March, CDF announced it would support Mick’s family in instructing lawyers to build a case for private prosecution following the police and CPS’s failure to do so. Shortly after this the fundraising appeal ‘Justice for Michael’ was launched by CDF.
Two years on from the incident, nearly £60,000 of the £75,000 target has been raised from cyclists and road justice supporters, with 1,479 people making donations. These funds have allowed CDF to obtain an expert report and instruct an independent QC to advise on the proposed prosecution.
Mick's daughter Anna Tatton-Brown, commenting on the support she has received so far said, "My father’s death still touches every part of our lives and our long drawn out attempts to get some measure of justice remains painful. The ongoing support offered us by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, and the many people who have donated money, is an ongoing source of support and solace.
"My father on his bike is still one of my most vivid memories and I know that he would want us to press ahead with our court case in the hope that it might change the way the authorities view cycling accidents and the treatment of cyclists on our roads."
It is not possible to provide more information at this stage about the prosecution, however CTC’s CDF hopes to be in a position to commence a private prosecution of the driver shortly. Further updates will be forthcoming once proceedings have commenced.
Thursday 25 February is the second anniversary of the collision which cost Mick his life, and robbed his family of a much loved member. CTC and CDF hope 2016 will bring some measure of justice for Mick’s family.
You can help support the family and their case by visiting: www.justgiving.com/justiceformichael