THE Llangollen farmer who hosted the mountain bike event which resulted in the tragic death of a spectator questioned safety measures when he gave evidence at Mold Crown Court.

Martin Sands said the area where Judith Garrett was struck by an out-of-control bike at Tan Y Graig Farm was not taped off by race organisers.

Ms Garrett suffered massive head injuries after she was hit by a rider who lost control of his bike at the downhill event held on August 31, 2014.

Mr Sands operated a profit-sharing scheme with race organiser Mike Marsden in which the Lancashire-based entrepreneur took half of the race income.

The farmer told the court precautions had been taken in previous events to tape off the area because he was concerned that spectators might sit on a ruined building.

“There is an old building there which is shaky and I had visions of people sitting on top of it and cheering on bikers.

"I didn’t want people in that area because of the state of the building,” said Mr Sands.

“When they go in there they are ushered out pretty quickly.”

Mr Sands said he had asked if a line of the course could be altered because it was near a fence before the route was marked out on the Friday night and Saturday morning.

He also recalled that the organisers were short of marshals in the lead up to the event and he was asked “to put a shout out on Facebook”.

On the afternoon of the race he took his young children across the field to watch at the finishing straight and, although he did not see the accident involving Ms Garrett, he recalled: “I saw what I thought was a glint of silver which I assumed was a front wheel that had gone up in the air.”

He said Marsden handed him his phone so that he could dial 999 and two air ambulances arrived on the scene from where Ms Garrett, from Prudhoe in Northumberland, was taken to a specialist trauma unit in Stoke where she died the following day.

It was only later that Mr Sands found out that he had spoken to the victim and helped her and her partner park their camper van in a field overnight.

After the accident he said he spotted the event commissaire Alex Thompson taking photographs and asked him why spectators had been allowed in that area.

When asked by Marsden’s counsel, Oliver Campbell QC, whether there had been serious incidents involving spectators at any other events run by Marsden between 2009 and 2014, Mr Sands said “no”.

But he noted there was a difference in the events put on by different organisers in that that Marsden’s events were more regional and were attended by fewer spectators.

They were more rider-focused than another organiser, who also used Mr Sands’ land, but operated more commercially-based races.

Race organiser Marsden and marshal Kevin Duckworth along with governing body the British Cycling Federation face a variety of charges as a result of the investigation carried out by Denbighshire Council after Ms Garrett’s death.

Marsden, 41, of Gressingham Drive, Lancaster, is alleged to have failed to ensure the safety of spectators, including Miss Garrett.

He is also charged with failing to make a suitable assessment of the health and safety risks posed to spectators.

Duckworth, 42, of Addison Street, Accrington, Lancashire, is alleged to have failed to ensure that his health and safety duties as a marshal were complied with in that he left his position as a marshal.

The British Cycling Federation faces a charge of failing to conduct an undertaking in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of people attending.

Marsden, Duckworth and the British Cycling Federation deny all the charges.

The case continues.