Trial set over the death of woman at downhill mountain biking event near Llangollen

Reporter:

Josh Morris

The trial of the organisers of a downhill mountain biking event where a woman died has been set for June.

Not guilty pleas were entered by organisers of a Borderline Downhill Series Mountain Biking event at Llangollen in which a spectator died after being struck by an out of control cycle.

The British Cycling Federation, an official and a marshal at the event at Llangollen back in August 2014, appeared at Mold Crown Court today.

Not guilty pleas were entered to all charges and Judge Rhys Rowlands fixed a trial on June 4.  The trial is expected to last four weeks

The proceedings follow the death of 29-year-old spectator Judith Garrett, who had been at the event to watch her boyfriend compete.

The charge against The British Cycling Federation, based at Stuart Street in Manchester, alleges that on August 31, 2014, at Tan y Craig Farm in Llangollen, it failed to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of people attending.

Race official Michael Marsden, 40, of Gressingham Drive in Lancaster, is alleged to have failed to conduct the event in such a way that people including Miss Garrett were not exposed to risk.

It is alleged that he failed to ensure the safety of spectators at the competition and failed to provide marshals with adequate training regarding the safety of spectators.

The final charge against him alleges that he failed to report the death of Miss Garrett at the competition.

A marshal, Kevin Ian Duckworth, 41 of Addison Street in Accrington, Lancashire, is alleged to have failed to ensure that his health and safety duties as a marshal were complied with.

Prosecuting barrister Andrew Green, appearing on behalf of Denbighshire County Council, said that legal arguments would need to take place before the trial. A pre-trial review will be held on March 26.

He said that he wished to clarify that the fatality occurred at a Borderline Downhill Event and not as stated in the original charges before the magistrates’ court.

Duckworth and Marsden were granted unconditional bail.

Judith Garrett, 29, of Prudhoe, had been living with her boyfriend’s family at Whitley Bay.

She was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke but died the following day. She was said to have died from major head injuries.

 

Email:

josh.morris@nwn.co.uk

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  • Daveevans42

    14:02, 03 October 2017

    The myth is with mjvande. He believes that he is above everybody. He should keep these opinions to himself considering the nature of the trial. If it was left to him all sports would be banned! How does he get on holiday? I bet he does not walk!

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  • MTBwalker

    14:02, 03 October 2017

    Mj this tragic event is not the time for your narrow minded comments. I wonder do you have a motor vehicle if so Why??? When you can walk. There is a time and place and this is not now. The tragic events are being dealt with by the law of the land and hopefully some good will come out of a tragic accident. I bid you good day

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  • mjvande

    06:06, 01 October 2017

    Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm . It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else -- ON FOOT! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking.... A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

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    • John_2_flats

      16:04, 03 October 2017

      MJ, you know, it's interesting that you mention EVERY study (7) that you looked at was written by a mountain biker! What you fail to mention is that each of those mountain bikers was ALSO A WALKER. Contrary to this you could take opposing studies and notice they are ALL written by WALKERS, but none of them bikers? Hmmm strange that! Almost like you are misrepresenting information to show the conclusion you favour? I also notice that 99.9% of what you have written is complete tosh, People DO have rights to mountain bike, and you obviously have some kind of prejudice against the sport however this is hardly the time or place to air that. I can only assume you are one of these miserable WALKERS that refuse to crack a smile or return a good morning to a mountain biker that stops to let you pass, may I suggest you do some soul searching, you never know you might just find one!

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