Cyclist’s relief after dog crash case is dropped

Chelmsford Weekly News: Injured – springer spaniel Lucy after the accident with co-owner Jenny Gardiner in Castle Park Injured – springer spaniel Lucy after the accident with co-owner Jenny Gardiner in Castle Park

A CASE against a cyclist accused of breaking a dog’s jaw while riding through a park has been dropped after a year of legal wrangling.

Springer spaniel Lucy was injured when a rider came around a corner on a cycle path in Castle Park, Colchester, and accidentally hit her in May last year.

Firefighter Craig Todd was later charged with careless cycling under the Road Traffic Act.

But Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service had dropped the case as there was too little evidence.

Mr Todd, 38, of Fronks Road, Dovercourt, said he had been cycling carefully along a nationally-recognised cycling path when the incident took place.

He said: “I have spent a year of my life worrying about something that I didn’t feel was my fault.

“I have gone through a year of stress, several court appearances and I can only thank my close friends and colleagues who have supported me through this difficult time.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that it went this far. My family life has suffered because of this and I’m just so relieved that it is over.

“I just want to get on with my life now.”

Jenny Gardiner, who co-owns Lucy with mum Brenda Taylor, of Ipswich Road, Colchester, said she was frustrated by the outcome. She is no longer angry as Lucy was successfully treated following the accident, but felt action should have been taken to prevent a repeat of the collision.

Mrs Gardiner, 24, of Providence Place, Colchester, said: “We were upset at the time because the rider did not stop, but now all we really want is something to be done about the situation in park.

“We still don’t let Lucy off the lead in that area because there are cyclists coming through at speed all the time. I think they need to put speed limit signs up or warn the cyclists to watch out for dogs.”

Mr Todd also called for more signs to be placed in the park highlighting where the cycle routes are.

Comments (9)

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8:09pm Sat 22 May 10

Heinz says...

Lots of lovely money for the lawyers though!
Lots of lovely money for the lawyers though! Heinz
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Sat 22 May 10

Smouldering Ewok says...

A cycle path is to be used by cycles not dogs.
However, they are also pavements that have been split into 2 and then called cycle paths/pedestrian paths.
If the dog was not on a lead and strays onto the cycle path then the owner is to blame.
If the same accident had happened but with a jogger i wonder how many would favour the dog.
This really shouldn't reach the courts at all.
I remember when occurences like these were merely an unfortunate accident.
Adding to that surely all dogs should be on leads due to the fact that there is all kinds of wild life there including baby birds, squirrels, baby ewoks etc....
We also hate the sight of doggie doo doo's on the ground and is a major slip hazard to cyclists!
A cycle path is to be used by cycles not dogs. However, they are also pavements that have been split into 2 and then called cycle paths/pedestrian paths. If the dog was not on a lead and strays onto the cycle path then the owner is to blame. If the same accident had happened but with a jogger i wonder how many would favour the dog. This really shouldn't reach the courts at all. I remember when occurences like these were merely an unfortunate accident. Adding to that surely all dogs should be on leads due to the fact that there is all kinds of wild life there including baby birds, squirrels, baby ewoks etc.... We also hate the sight of doggie doo doo's on the ground and is a major slip hazard to cyclists! Smouldering Ewok
  • Score: 0

11:28am Sun 23 May 10

skottie says...

I quite often cycle through Lower Castle Park, and it isn't unusual for pedestrians or dogs to wander onto the cycle side of the path. It just makes sense to slow down and be cautious on any shared path. I think the owner's suggestion to put up signs to warn cyclists "slow - dogs ahead" as a reminder is actually a really good and simple idea.
I quite often cycle through Lower Castle Park, and it isn't unusual for pedestrians or dogs to wander onto the cycle side of the path. It just makes sense to slow down and be cautious on any shared path. I think the owner's suggestion to put up signs to warn cyclists "slow - dogs ahead" as a reminder is actually a really good and simple idea. skottie
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Sun 23 May 10

cavillas says...

Also put up signs to warn dog owners to keep their animals under control and to clear up after them.
Also put up signs to warn dog owners to keep their animals under control and to clear up after them. cavillas
  • Score: 0

4:14am Mon 24 May 10

kichimi says...

I felt very moved by this article. In addition to unenforceable speed limits for cyclists I feel we should also put people who kill Rabbits, Foxes, Hedgehogs and other animals on the roads by accident through the stress of a court case. Then we can use this as reason to ban cars, bicycles and most other forms of transport to protect wild life and people who do not keep their dogs on leads in dangerous areas such as cycle paths.
I felt very moved by this article. In addition to unenforceable speed limits for cyclists I feel we should also put people who kill Rabbits, Foxes, Hedgehogs and other animals on the roads by accident through the stress of a court case. Then we can use this as reason to ban cars, bicycles and most other forms of transport to protect wild life and people who do not keep their dogs on leads in dangerous areas such as cycle paths. kichimi
  • Score: 0

9:59am Mon 24 May 10

RitchieHicks says...

I wonder what people who think if this was a child instead of a dog.....
I wonder what people who think if this was a child instead of a dog..... RitchieHicks
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Mon 24 May 10

kichimi says...

RitchieHicks wrote:
I wonder what people who think if this was a child instead of a dog.....
But it wasn't a child. If it was a child that would be a different situation all together.
[quote][p][bold]RitchieHicks[/bold] wrote: I wonder what people who think if this was a child instead of a dog.....[/p][/quote]But it wasn't a child. If it was a child that would be a different situation all together. kichimi
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Mon 24 May 10

duguk says...

I read this with interest.

Either cycle-paths are to be treated as purely for cycles, in which case it is the dog owners' responsibility,

or cycle-paths are recommendations and pedestrians, any animal, or vehicle, should be aware that cycles use the path.

Either cycle paths are for cycles, or are there to warn that cycles use the path.

We don't have people walking along the middle of the road since the roads are designated for cars, not people. The same should be the same for cyclists - otherwise we'll continue in the vain that cyclists are allowed on pavements, roads and cycle paths.

This dog owner should be more careful where she walks, otherwise she might get run over by a car, not realising it's a road.

"I think they need to put speed limit signs up or warn the cyclists to watch out for dogs."

You'd make more sense saying:

"I think they need to put signs up saying THIS IS A ROAD or warn car drivers to look out for people who don't watch where they're walking."

Dug
I read this with interest. Either cycle-paths are to be treated as purely for cycles, in which case it is the dog owners' responsibility, or cycle-paths are recommendations and pedestrians, any animal, or vehicle, should be aware that cycles use the path. Either cycle paths are for cycles, or are there to warn that cycles use the path. We don't have people walking along the middle of the road since the roads are designated for cars, not people. The same should be the same for cyclists - otherwise we'll continue in the vain that cyclists are allowed on pavements, roads and cycle paths. This dog owner should be more careful where she walks, otherwise she might get run over by a car, not realising it's a road. "I think they need to put speed limit signs up or warn the cyclists to watch out for dogs." You'd make more sense saying: "I think they need to put signs up saying THIS IS A ROAD or warn car drivers to look out for people who don't watch where they're walking." Dug duguk
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Mon 24 May 10

PROOFREADER says...

duguk wrote:
I read this with interest. Either cycle-paths are to be treated as purely for cycles, in which case it is the dog owners' responsibility, or cycle-paths are recommendations and pedestrians, any animal, or vehicle, should be aware that cycles use the path. Either cycle paths are for cycles, or are there to warn that cycles use the path. We don't have people walking along the middle of the road since the roads are designated for cars, not people. The same should be the same for cyclists - otherwise we'll continue in the vain that cyclists are allowed on pavements, roads and cycle paths. This dog owner should be more careful where she walks, otherwise she might get run over by a car, not realising it's a road. "I think they need to put speed limit signs up or warn the cyclists to watch out for dogs." You'd make more sense saying: "I think they need to put signs up saying THIS IS A ROAD or warn car drivers to look out for people who don't watch where they're walking." Dug
It is against the law for a cyclist to ride on a pedestrian only pavement and it is also against the law to cycle across a pedestrian crossing.
[quote][p][bold]duguk[/bold] wrote: I read this with interest. Either cycle-paths are to be treated as purely for cycles, in which case it is the dog owners' responsibility, or cycle-paths are recommendations and pedestrians, any animal, or vehicle, should be aware that cycles use the path. Either cycle paths are for cycles, or are there to warn that cycles use the path. We don't have people walking along the middle of the road since the roads are designated for cars, not people. The same should be the same for cyclists - otherwise we'll continue in the vain that cyclists are allowed on pavements, roads and cycle paths. This dog owner should be more careful where she walks, otherwise she might get run over by a car, not realising it's a road. "I think they need to put speed limit signs up or warn the cyclists to watch out for dogs." You'd make more sense saying: "I think they need to put signs up saying THIS IS A ROAD or warn car drivers to look out for people who don't watch where they're walking." Dug[/p][/quote]It is against the law for a cyclist to ride on a pedestrian only pavement and it is also against the law to cycle across a pedestrian crossing. PROOFREADER
  • Score: 0

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