CDF is a linked charity established by CTC, the national cycling charity, with the remit to deal with issues related to cycling and the law.
Michael Mason (70) was hit from behind by a Nissan car on 25 February 2014 on Regent St, London and died as a result of his injuries on 14 March 2014. The driver escaped prosecution, when the Metropolitan Police did not refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), in an apparent clear breach of CPS guidelines.
Following discussion with Mr Mason’s family and with CTC ambassador Martin Porter QC (who represented the family at the inquest), CDF has confirmed that it will provide funding for Porter to engage on the family’s behalf with the Metropolitan Police and the CPS’s Director of Public Prosecutions with the aim to reverse the decision not to prosecute. If that fails, Porter will advise on alternative options, including the possibility of a private prosecution.
Anna Tatton-Brown, Mr Mason’s daughter said:
“'[Dad] felt very strongly about the dangers to cyclists on our roads, and would get very angry about the amount of careless or even reckless driving he experienced. He and I would often discuss the many near misses we both had on London roads. If he were alive now, I've no doubt that he would be fighting tooth and nail to get some kind of justice. It doesn't feel right to just let this lie.”
Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns & Policy Director and CDF trustee said:
“The Cyclists’ Defence Fund was set up precisely to champion and support issues related to cycling and the law. In the tragic case of Michael Mason, we will aim to reverse the Met’s decision not to prosecute and help achieve the closure of justice for his family."
We now need to build up our fighting fund so that we can ensure CDF can continue to provide all necessary support throughout the legal process ahead.”
CDF, supported by CTC, the London Cycling Campaign, British Cycling and RoadPeace, are now calling for donations to support its work on cycling and the law - such as challenging unduly lenient law-enforcement of dangerous drivers, unjust prosecutions of cyclists, and highway and planning decisions which disregard cyclists' needs.
In stark contrast to Mr Mason’s case, cyclist Kristian Gregory currently faces charges for an alleged offence on New Kent Rd, London for which he had been issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) in July 2014. He will now face a court appearance on 05 February 2015. His defence is also being supported by the Cyclists' Defence Fund.