Saturday, 5 December 2009

The magistracy prefer a taxi driver’s evidence to a cyclist’s

Computer engineer James Sterling was cycling home from work to St Albans along St Albans Road, Watford, when he was hit by taxi driver Mehmood, as he pulled his cab out of Ridge Street to turn right, he said.

Mr Sterling said: “I was going down the road and I could see a car had pulled out of Ridge Street just slightly. “I slowed down a little to make sure the driver had seen me.

“He was looking left and not right, at me, so I slowed and was looking for a gap to get through the traffic. I watched him as I drove in front of him and he was still looking left. At the point of going past him he was still looking to the left and all I remember is hearing a bang.”

Witness Jonathan Sorley was in a car in a line of traffic as Mr Sterling cycled past. Mr Sorley told the court after seeing the crash he ran to the scene of the accident and found Mr Sterling getting up in front of the white-coloured Peugeot taxi. He said: “After I realised the cyclist was alright I asked for the taxi driver's details, to help the cyclist out, but he refused saying it was not his fault. That's when I phoned the police.”

During cross examination Jan Muller, prosecuting, put it to Mehmood he told police “he hit my car that's it” and that Mr Sorely heard him say “I did not see him”.

The defendant denied both points saying his English is not that good.

Chairman of the bench Doreen Clapper said: “We have sufficient doubt in our mind that your driving standard did not fall below that of a reasonable driver and therefore find you not guilty.”