Fundraiser for cyclist sued for hitting yoga teacher tops £50,000

Robert Hazeldean faces legal costs of up to £100,000

A cyclist who was threatened with bankruptcy after being ordered by a court to pay up to £100,000 in legal fees to a woman who he had hit with his bike has spoken of his gratitude to people who have raised more than £51,000 to support him.

Robert Hazeldean collided with yoga teacher Gemma Brushett near London Bridge in July 2015. She had stepped out into the road and was looking at her phone, and despite Hazeldean sounding his bike horn, the pair were both knocked out when he hit her.

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Ms Brushett sued the cyclist, and last week judge Shanti Mauger ruled that despite her being "equally to blame for the accident" Mr Hazeldean would have to pay the yoga teacher more than £4,000 in damages and potentially legal bills amounting to more than £100,000.

The judge said that Mr Hazeldean had to pay compensation because "cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.

"Mr Hazeldean did fall below the level to be expected of a reasonably competent cyclist in that he did proceed when the road was not completely clear."

Mr Hazeldean said on Friday after the verdict that "I am of course deeply disappointed with the outcome, reeling from the impact it will have on my life, and concerned by the precedent that it might set for other cyclists."

He said that he had been "extremely touched" by the support he had received from strangers since the case became public and would be "forever thankful" to the more than 3,000 people who donated to his fundraiser.

Any money that was left over from the fundraiser will be donated to Action Aid.