Fund for cyclist who hit woman on phone soars past £50k

Sophia Sleigh

More than £50,000 has been raised for a cyclist who was ordered to pay compensation to a pedestrian he crashed into as she crossed the road while looking at her mobile phone.

Garden designer Robert Hazeldean, 38, faces a £100,000 bill and bankruptcy after hitting Gemma Brushett, 28, as she crossed a busy junction in London Bridge in July 2015.

Ms Brushett, a yoga teacher, sued for compensation after suffering damage to her front teeth and facial scars in the crash.

A judge at the Central London county court said Mr Hazeldean was a “calm and reasonable road user” but shared equal responsibility for the collision because he had a duty of care.

Gemma Brushett was hit as she crossed the road while looking at her phone

Mr Hazeldean’s friend Brittany Maher-Kirk set up a fundraising page which has now raised more than £50,000.

She said: “I’m incredibly thankful for everyone who has donated, shared or sent messages of support. You’re all wonderful.

“The cost to Robert - one of the kindest, most gentle and responsible people I have the privilege of calling a friend - is likely to bankrupt him.”

Mr Hazeldean said he was “forever thankful” to the people who have helped him and he was “overwhelmed” by the response.

His lawyers are disputing the £100,000 costs claim “in the strongest terms”.

The case will return to court at a later date to decide exactly how much Mr Hazeldean must pay in legal costs.