London

Cyclist death: Crowdfunded Gail Purcell prosecution reaches court

Westminster Magistrates Court Image copyright Getty Images

A woman accused of killing a 70-year-old cyclist has appeared in court following a crowdfunded campaign for a private prosecution.

Gail Purcell is charged with causing death by careless driving following a collision with cyclist Michael Mason on Regents Street, London, in 2014.

The Cyclists' Defence Fund (CDF) raised £60,000 from 1,500 donations to pursue action against Ms Purcell.

Police had declined to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Mr Mason died 19 days after the collision, having never regained consciousness from his injuries.

A trial has been set for 11 October at Southwark Crown Court following Ms Purcell's appearance at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier.

Private prosecutions can be brought by any individual or organisation and proceed in exactly the same way as those brought by the CPS.

Before proceeding with a prosecution, the CPS will consider if the case is in the public interest and if there is sufficient evidence to secure a conviction.