At about 1855 on 12th February 2015 Mr Aslan Kayardi who is, or was, a qualified driving instructor overtook me in his Audi R8 sports car on the A315 between Feltham and Staines. I alleged against him that he drove dangerously and supported that allegation with evidence from an experienced collision investigator, Mr Paul Croft. I thank him for the careful balanced and conspicuously fair way that he presented his evidence which to my mind was highly compelling.
I respect the rule of law and entirely accept that some of the material that I had hoped may go before a jury could not do so for legal reasons. I also have to accept the verdict of the jury that Mr Kayardi’s driving has not been proved to fall far below the standard of a competent and careful driver. Every Defendant is entitled to the benefit of any doubt and my assessment of his driving has to bow to that of the jury.
Aside from this case, I am a total stranger to the criminal courts. What is clear to me is that a somewhat creaking in places criminal justice system is held together by the professionalism, dedication and skill of the criminal bar. The prosecution was most ably and persuasively conducted by Mr Ellis Sareen and Ms Emily Albou. Equally Mr Kayardi had the good fortune to have his Defence conducted successively by Ms Abigail Bright and Mr Jake Taylor who quite properly worked hard and effectively to secure what was the right result for their client. I am grateful to all four and appreciate more than ever how important it is to a fair and just society that we continue properly to value their work.
An acquittal does not imply that a prosecution was not properly brought, although there are of course a number of lessons which I shall endeavour to draw from this experience and which I hope may also benefit others.
I have been asked for my video but am hesitant to put it into the public domain. There is clearly a risk that it will be held up as driving that has been found to be perfectly acceptable.
I am extremely grateful to the CTC and Roadpeace for their considerable moral support and to the Cyclists’ Defence Fund for both moral and financial support. It is more than ever important that the Cyclists’ Defence Fund has the resources to continue to fight for justice for cyclists. I will continue to do what I can to support those efforts.