On August 31, 2014, in Llangollen, Wales, at a downhill race organized by Mike Marsden's Borderline Events Company, a rider lost control during their race run and crashed with their bike. The bike collided with a spectator standing in the crowd, unfortunately resulting in the tragic death of the spectator who was there to watch her fiancé race.
Last week, Mike Marsden, the race organiser; Kevin Duckworth, the marshal; and British Cycling attended court for the second time, with each one pleading not guilty to "failing to ensure the safety of spectators at the competition and failing to provide marshals with adequate training regarding the safety of spectators."The following is taken from the BBC website:
The case will take place in Crown Court in front of a twelve-man jury in June 2018, and is expected to take up to four weeks. So what does this all mean? Well I am no lawyer, but the basic facts around the case appear to be:
• There has already been a coroner's inquest into the incident where it was determined that there is a criminal case to be answered.
• The trial is a criminal trial and not a civil one, therefore no compensation or insurance companies are involved. Denbighshire are the local authority and are responsible for enforcing the Health and Safety at Work act in their designated area.
• The race organiser, course marshal, and British Cycling are charged with a number of offences.
• The race organiser has duty of care for everyone at their event.
• The British Cycling Commissaire was a volunteer and only received out of pocket expenses, and therefore is not facing charges in relation to the incident.
• Breaches of the Health and Safety at Work act can lead to imprisonment and large fines for any individual or organisation found guilty.
• If the spectator had signed a disclaimer this would not change the current process because 'Under UK law, the validity of disclaimers is significantly limited by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. By virtue of the Act, a business cannot use a contract term or a notice to exclude or restrict its liability for negligence causing death or personal injury'.