ActionAid set to get £30k from crowdfunding for cyclist's legal fees

Robert Hazeldean was ordered to pay compensation and legal fees after hitting a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him in 2015, and the GoFundMe page has raised much more than the £21k target

The GoFundMe page
The GoFundMe page

ActionAid could receive more than £30,000 from a crowdfunding campaign to pay a cyclist’s legal fees, which raised more than twice its target amount.

Last week Robert Hazeldean, a cyclist and former mental health charity worker, was ordered to pay compensation and the legal fees of a pedestrian whom he hit while cycling in 2015, despite the fact that she stepped into the road looking at her phone and the lights were green for him.

A GoFundMe page set up on Thursday by Hazeldean’s friend Brittany Maher-Kirk to cover the expected £21,300 bill has raised more than £55,000. In a statement on Twitter, Hazeldean said any leftover money would go to ActionAid.

According to the GoFundMe page, Hazeldean had been a supporter of ActionAid through its child sponsorship programme for the past 13 years, but had been forced to stop by the financial pressures caused by the legal case.

In a statement on Twitter, Hazeldean described the response to the crowdfunder as being "as staggering as it is heartwarming".

He said: "Unbelievably, Brittany’s crowdfunder has now received over £50k. I never imagined I would receive so much support.

"With luck, the incredible generosity of the thousands who have messaged and donated will go far beyond the final costs demanded of me and the majority will go to charity."

The final total will be decided by the court once the claimant’s lawyers have submitted their full costs, but when the judge made her ruling on the case she indicated that the figure would be likely to include £4,300 in compensation, £10,000 to cover the pedestrian's legal fees and £7,000 to cover Hazeldean's own legal fees.

Ed Tait, director of fundraising at ActionAid, said: "We’re very grateful for this donation – as we are for every contribution from our supporters. These funds will help make possible our work with women and girls around the world." 

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