Death by careless driving prosecution begun in case of cyclist Mick Mason

Michael Mason with his daughter Anna Tatton-Brown
Gail Purcell (58) of Colney Street, St Albans, the driver involved in the death of cyclist Mick Mason, received a summons on Saturday (6 August) to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 6 September 2016 for the offence of causing death by careless driving contrary to section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This case was brought forward as a private prosecution by Cycling UK’s CDF

London teacher Michael Mason (70), was cycling north on Regent Street from Oxford Circus in London on the 25 February 2014.  At 6.23 pm Michael, known as Mick to his friends, was hit from behind by a black Nissan Juke driven by Ms Purcell, and as a consequence sustained a serious injury to his brain.

On 14 March, 19 days after the incident that knocked him off his bike, having never regained consciousness, Mick Mason passed away as a result of his injuries. 

The Metropolitan police investigated the collision at the time but decided not to prosecute, initially declining to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). 

Following work by the Cyclists' Defence Fund (CDF) and ongoing pressure from the media, the police on 12 March 2015 revisited their decision, and agreed to refer their investigation to the CPS. Six days later, the police reverted back to their original decision of not referring the case to the CPS, informing the media of their decision prior to notifying Mason’s immediate family. 

CDF brought the private prosecution following donations from more than 1,500 supporters who helped raise over £60,000 towards case costs. 

Duncan Dollimore, spokesperson for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, said: 

“This is an important step towards what we hope will be justice for Mick Mason’s family. They have suffered not just the tragic death of a family pillar, but also been woefully let down by the police and legal system at the time they needed it most.

“The Cyclists’ Defence Fund wants to thank everyone who has generously donated. Without their help this private prosecution and the Mason family’s ongoing struggle for justice wouldn’t have been possible.”

Notes to editors

  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.
  2. The Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF) is a subsidiary charity to Cycling UK, which offers help with cyclists' legal cases and provides information about the legal aspects of cycling in the UK.
  3. Anyone wishing to support the Mason family and the fundraising which has enabled this prosecution can do so via 
  4. This is the first private prosecution brought by CDF for any offence involving the death of a cyclist, and the first private prosecution for causing death by careless driving that the CDF is aware of.

Press contact information

Cycling UK Press Office
Telephone: 01483 238 315 / 07786 320 713 (out of hours)