Yesterday, I received an email from Jared who wanted help from fellow London Cyclists and passers by to back him up against the taxi driver who swerved across in front of him and caused a collision. The taxi driver then proceeded to strangle Jared until he fell unconscious. This happened on March the 9th at 4-5pm along Oxford Street.
Naturally you would assume this would be an “open and shut case” in Jared’s favour. However, the taxi driver is claiming that Jared attacked him. Due to the lack of witnesses or CCTV evidence the Crown Prosecution Service is taking the taxi driver’s version of events and Jared is being charged with assault. This is despite the fact that there was a witness who looked after him during the entire incident and assured Jared he would be his witness. However, the police now have no record of this persons details.
Jared is now facing legal fees reaching £5,000 and that is if the CPS find him not guilty. He has also had to cancel a long-planned research trip for his writing.
From Jared’s blog:
“This is a huge kick in the teeth to everything I have worked towards and leaves me on the brink of a criminal record for a crime I did not commit, while the person who was extremely violent towards me hasn’t even been cautioned. Somewhere out there in this wonderful London town is surely a cyclist, motorist or pedestrian who was passing on that day and witnessed an enraged taxi driver strangling me. If so, I really hope you are reading this.
I have canvassed all shops in the area for witnesses and private CCTV and return this week to speak to opposite shifts and put up notices. I have queried Westminster CCTV, along with their Traffic Wardens & Refuse Collectors who were working in the area at that time, and also queried London Transport about static and vehicle cameras. I am aiming to get ads and letters in the London press this week.”
Someone out there must have seen something. The sooner I find a witness the sooner I can bring an end to this unfairness and escalating costs.
If you have any information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I forwarded Jared’s website on my Twitter and asked people to help:
“Were you near Oxford Circus on March 9th at around 4-5pm – help out: http://bit.ly/9UD5TC”
People started ReTweeting and on my last count the link has received 10,000 hits and has been retweeted by 100’s of Londoners. Tomorrow it will also be featuring in the Evening Standard.
I’ve contacted Jared to see if there has been any progress and will be keeping an eye on the story. Once again, if you know anything then please get in touch. Otherwise spread the message to anyone who may be able to help.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.