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Not guilty pleas in cycle death tragedy

By James Pugh | Llangollen | Crime | Published:

Not guilty pleas have been entered by organisers of a Borderline Downhill Series Mountain Biking event in which a spectator died after being struck by an out of control cycle.

The British Cycling Federation, an official and a marshal at the event at Llangollen back in August 2014, appeared at Mold Crown Court.

On Friday, not guilty pleas were entered to all charges and Judge Rhys Rowlands fixed a trial on June 4. It is expected to last four weeks

The proceedings follow the death of 29-year-old spectator Judith Garrett, who had been at the event to watch her boyfriend compete.

The charge against The British Cycling Federation, based at Stuart Street in Manchester, alleges that on August 31, 2014, at Tan y Craig Farm in Llangollen, it failed to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of people attending.

Race official Michael Marsden, 40, of Gressingham Drive in Lancaster, is alleged to have failed to conduct the event in such a way that people including Miss Garrett were not exposed to risk.

It is alleged that he failed to ensure the safety of spectators at the competition and failed to provide marshals with adequate training regarding the safety of spectators.

The final charge against him alleges that he failed to report the death of Miss Garrett at the competition.

A marshal, Kevin Ian Duckworth, 41 of Addison Street in Accrington, Lancashire, is alleged to have failed to ensure that his health and safety duties as a marshal were complied with.

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Prosecuting barrister Andrew Green, appearing on behalf of Denbighshire County Council, said that legal arguments would need to take place before the trial. A pre-trial review will be held on March 26.

He said that he wished to clarify that the fatality occurred at a Borderline Downhill Event and not as stated in the original charges before the magistrates' court.

Duckworth and Marsden were granted unconditional bail.

Judith Garrett, 29, of Prudhoe, had been living with her boyfriend's family at Whitley Bay.

She was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke but died the following day. She was said to have died from major head injuries.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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