Britain's first crowdfunded prosecution ended in acquittal after just 17 minutes. The private prosecution was brought by The Cyclist's Defence Fund, a subsidiary of the Cycling UK charity, after crowdfunding over £80,000 to bring the case to court. Defendant Gail Purcell was cleared by the jury who came to the conclusion that she was not guilty of causing the collision which killed Michael Mason in February 2014.
This case may suggest that a rise in crowdfunded prosecutions will see an increase in the number of trials that are brought to court and quickly dismissed. Might this be the end for crowdfunded legal actions, or will such prosecutions become commonplace?
The landmark legal case was brought by The Cyclists' Defence Fund, a subsidiary of the Cycling UK charity, which raised money through online crowdfunding in order to privately prosecute Gail Purcell, a 59-year-old hairdresser. However, Ms Purcell, of St Albans was cleared within minutes at the Old Bailey yesterday, after the jury concluded she was not responsible for the collision which killed cyclist Michael Mason in February 2014. The case, which saw £80,000 raised to bring about the private prosecution, followed the decision by the CPS not to prosecute Ms Purcell, whose car collided with the 70-year-old teacher as he rode along Regent Street in Central London.