Judge says cyclists 'have a sense of absolute entitlement,' after dog knocks rider off bike

Appeal permitted in case where a dog caused a cyclist to crash, leaving him with brain injuries

Cyclist died after hitting pothole
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A Central London county court judge has attacked cyclists and dog owners, claiming they both "have a sense of absolute entitlement." 

The judge's comments were heard in ruling that a woman can appeal awarding £50,000 compensation to a cyclist her dog knocked off his bike, causing him brain injuries. 

David Crane, 71, was thrown over the handlebars of his bike in March 2016 when he hit a cocker spaniel in West London. He suffered brain injuries which have affected his concentration, hearing and memory, as well as his senses of taste and smell.

Crane sued the dog's owner, Carina Read, for negligence and being in breach of the 1971 Animals Act for failure to control her dog, which a judge concurred with last year and ordered her to pay £50,000 in compensation.

Judge Alan Saggerson has allowed Read to appeal this decision though, while also attacking both cyclists and dog owners.

“We all know that cyclists whether on path, road or common, have a sense of absolute entitlement to do whatever they want to do and we all know that dog owners also have a similar sense of entitlement to do exactly what they want to do irrespective of anybody else," Saggerson said.

“It's quite a conundrum.”

Last year, Judge Patrick Andrews said Read should have restrained the cocker spaniel, dismissing her defence that her dog was not dangerous so not relevant to the provisions of the act.

However, because the cocker spaniel isn't a dangerous species, its keeper may be held liable for injury or damage. As a result, Judge Andrews ordered Carina Read, a banker, to pay a compensatory fee of £50,000 to David Crane. 

Judge Andrews said in October 2020: “After considering all the facts and evidence, I find that on the balance of probabilities, in failing to call back the dog, which she clearly had time to do, Ms Reid exposed Mr Crane to risk of injury."

However, Judge Saggerson has since allowed her to appeal this decision.