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Organisers and officials of downhill mountain bike event cleared of charges relating to spectator’s death

British Cycling had also been charged with health and safety breaches after Judith Garrett was killed in 2014

Organisers and officials at a downhill mountain bike event in Wales have been cleared of health and safety charges relating to the death of a spectator in August 2014 when she was hit by a competitor who had lost control of his bike after landing a jump.

Judith Garrett, aged 29, attended the Borderline UK DH Series event at Tan y Craig Farm near Llangollen, Denbighshire to watch her boyfriend Peter Walton compete.

She sustained head injuries when she was struck by competitor Andrew Cody, the impact throwing her backwards against a tree, and was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent but died there the following day.

Event organiser Michael Marsden had been charged under health and safety legislation of failing to conduct the event in such a way that people were not exposed to risk, reports BBC News.

He said he had carried out a course inspection to identify possible hazards, and said that in places where someone might come off their bike the course was widened so they would remain on it.

Meanwhile, British Cycling was charged with failing to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure the health and safety of people attending.

In its defence, the organisation said that it had no responsibility for the event, with the paperwork being handled by Welsh Cycling which operates as an independent and distinct entity.

Both were found not guilty by a jury at Mold Crown Court on Tuesday.

Their acquittal follows a not guilty verdict last week for marshal Kevin Duckworth, who had been charged with failing to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of others.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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