Jury acquits near-miss driver.

Martin Porter QC’s private prosecution of driver rejected by jury

A private prosecution of dangerous driving brought by Martin Porter QC has failed. Former driving instructor Aslan Kayardi was acquitted by a jury at Isleworth Crown Court earlier today. The case was brought with financial backing from CTC’s Cyclists’ Defence Fund.

Porter was cycling home from work in February last year on the A315 Staines Road, Feltham, Middlesex. He was travelling at a speed of 19 mph, when Kayardi overtook him on a single carriageway while heading towards approaching traffic from the opposite direction.

An expert analysed the data provided by Porter’s Garmin bike computer and footage from his handlebar video camera. He calculated that Kayardi was travelling at a speed between 51 and 57mph, leaving only a distance between 60 and 80cm when he passed Porter’s shoulders.

Kayardi’s proximity and speed forced Porter to swerve towards the kerb, in circumstances which could have led him to fall off. Following this near miss, Porter reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police which, using the available evidence, decided to take no further action.

Supported by CDF, Porter brought a case for private prosecution of dangerous driving against Kayardi.

Roger Geffen, Policy Director at CTC and Trustee of the Cyclists’ Defence Fund said:

“CDF is very disappointed to learn the result of this case, in which the jury rejected even the camera and expert evidence of speeding."

Geffen said the jury rejected the case "despite the public being hugely supportive of more cycling."

He added the verdict "highlights the huge challenge we face in raising driver awareness of the need to respect the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users."

Porter said:

“Whilst I, of course, respect the verdict of the jury, I believe it is only right that Mr Kayardi was required to justify his driving before a Court of Law.

“I wish to thank my legal team, Mr Ellis Sareen and Ms Emily Albou, for their hard work and consummate skill.

“I also thank the Cyclists’ Defence Fund for their financial backing without which a prosecution of this nature is not realistically practicable. My hope is that lessons can be learned from this prosecution with benefit to all those interested in reducing road danger."

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