Accidental Death Ruling Challenged; Family of Cyclist to Get Judicial Review

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel

THE family of a Northumberland woman killed after being knocked from her bike has been given the go-ahead to challenge the findings of her inquest.

The family of Eilidh Cairns will seek a judicial review of a coroner's ruling that her death was an accident.

The move comes less than a month after the driver of the truck which hit Eilidh escaped a road ban.

The TV producer, who was born and brought up in the Alnwick and Ellingham areas, was hit by a truck while riding her bike in London in February last year.

The 30-year-old lived in the capital and had been travelling to her new job. She was taken to hospital where she later died.

An inquest took place at Westminster Coroner's Court in January of this year where it was ruled Eilidh's death had been an accident.

Her family, led by sister Kate, applied for a judicial review of that decision. They have now been given leave to make their challenge at the High Court of Justice at a date to be arranged.

Truck driver Joao Lopes, 54, of Dagenham but originally from Portugal, was charged in relation to Eilidh's death with driving while his eyesight was such that he could not comply with the requirements of a prescribed eye test.

Lopes pleaded not guilty to the charge and appeared at Kingston Magistrates' Court in London for trial earlier this month but he changed his plea to guilty on the day.

Lopes was given a pounds 200 fine, had three penalty points added to his licence, was ordered to pay pounds 150 costs and a pounds 15 surcharge, but was spared a driving ban.

Last night, Kate Cairns said the family did not wish to comment on either the court case or the judicial review at this stage, given that the evidence is to be re-examined at the High Court. Eilidh's parents, retired schoolteachers John and Heather Cairns, still live at Ellingham. Heather is a one-time leader of the now defunct Alnwick District Council. …