Well-wishers raise £45,000 for cyclist ordered to pay yoga teacher up to £100,000 after she stepped in front of his bike while she was on the phone
- Richard Hazeldean was sued by Gemma Brushett for knocking her down in 2015
- He was ordered to pay £4,161 in damages and also foot her hefty legal bills
- Over 3,000 people have now stumped up £47,000 to save him from bankruptcy
A cyclist who was slapped with an eye-watering compensation bill after a Yoga instructor walked in front of his bike has thanked well-wishers who are rallying to save him from bankruptcy.
Robert Hazeldean was this week ordered to pay 28-year-old Gemma Brushett £4,161.79 in damages and foot her hefty legal costs which could spiral to £100,000.
But many have shown sympathy to the cyclist – who only collided Ms Brushett when she stepped out while looking at her phone – and have raised almost £47,000.
Robert Hazeldean was this week ordered to pay 28-year-old Gemma Brushett £4,161.79 in damages and foot her hefty legal costs which could spiral to £100,000
The yoga teacher (pictured doing a warrior pose on a yoga retreat) was looking at her phone when she stepped into the central London road – but the cyclist should have been better prepared to avoid her, the court heart
Mr Hazeldean has said he is ‘forever thankful’ to the scores of donors who gave money to a crowdfunding page set up on his behalf.
More than 3,200 people have donated to the fundraising drive and Brittany Maher-Kirk, who set up the page, has said that any excess money will be given to Action Aid.
Ms Brushett sued Mr Hazeldean when she was knocked down in central London during rush hour in July 2015.
On Friday she escaped having to pay out for the two-day court case, despite judge Shanti Mauger ruling she was ‘equally to blame for the accident’.
Gemma Brushett successfully sued Robert Hazeldean after she was knocked down in central London during rush hour in July 2015
Instead Mr Hazeldean, who moved to France for a ‘new life’, will have to foot the legal bill, which could be as much as £100,000 because he wasn’t insured at the time of the crash and never launched a counter claim.
He said the four-year case has taken a toll on his mental health and leaves his future ‘uncertain’ in an emotional statement this morning.
Mr Hazeldean had come through a green traffic light, and had sounded a loud airhorn attached to his bike, as well as shouting, swerving and braking in a bid to avoid Ms Brushett – but ploughed into her at up to 15mph, Central London’s County Court heard this week.
But in a significant ruling judge Mauger said Mr Hazeldean was liable to pay Ms Brushett compensation because ‘cyclists must be prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways.’
Miss Brushett, who works in the City but also runs yoga retreats across Europe, is expected to receive thousands in compensation
She said: ‘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.’
Lawyers acting on his behalf revealed that because he was uninsured, Mr Hazeldean will have to foot the bill for the court case, which could reach up to £100,000.
But if he had been insured and launched a counter claim, Ms Brushett would have been only allowed to claim £7,000 in costs.