The Daily Telegraph
Cyclist sues owner of dog that sent him flying over handlebars
A CYCLIST is suing an investment banker for £50,000 after he went over the handlebars of his bike when her dog ran in front of him.
David Crane, a publishing executive, was cycling across Acton Green Common, west London, on his way to work in March 2016 when Carina Read’s cocker spaniel, Felix, ran across his path while chasing a ball. Mr Crane said that after braking hard to avoid the dog, he flew over the handlebars and hit his head, suffering a brain haemorrhage, seizure and concussion.
Mr Crane is now suing Ms Read, an Irish-born investment banker, saying his injuries have affected his memory and concentration, left him plagued by headaches, impaired his sense of taste and smell and reduced his ability to hear in his left ear.
The 70-year-old cyclist is also suing Ms Read, 48, under the 1971 Animals Act, but her lawyers say the act only relates to damage done by a dangerous animal and that Felix is not dangerous.
Ms Read said she did her best to warn Mr Crane by shouting at him as he “sped” down the path. Mr Crane insisted he was riding at no more than 5mph at the time because “I was very overweight and cycling fast was not something I did”. He told Central London County Court he was “18 stone at the time”. Mr Crane also denied having struck Felix with his wheel.
Ms Read claimed the accident was a “freak occurrence” and denied suggestions that she did not have the cocker spaniel under proper control.
Her lawyers also claim he should not have been cycling across the path as it was barred by a by-law and on that morning the common was frequented by “dogs, their owners, pedestrians and the occasional cyclist”.
Barrister Nigel Lewers said: “Felix was not dangerous. He was running to catch a ball which he momentarily knocked off course into Mr Crane’s path.” The case has been adjourned to return at a later date for the barristers’ final submissions.
‘Felix was running to catch a ball which he momentarily knocked off course into Mr Crane’s path’