Fundraising appeal set up for cyclist ordered to pay £100000 after colliding

A cyclist who knocked over a yoga teacher while she stared at her phone in the road has attacked claim culture, as it emerges he is facing a £100,000 court bill.Gemma Brushett, 28, was knocked unconscious and suffered damage to her front teeth and facial scars when commuter Robert Hazeldean crashed into her as she crossed a central London street on July 20, 2015.  But despite a judge saying she is “equally to blame for the accident”, he has been ordered to pay Ms Brushett, who is also a finance worker, compensation and court costs.At Central London County Court, Judge Shanti Mauger awarded her £4,161.79 in damages but also said Mr Hazeldean, who now lives in France, would also have to foot most of the bill for the two-day court case, estimated at about £100,000.”Ms Brushett and Mr Hazeldean were equally culpable in this accident and Mr Hazeldean, for whatever reason, hasn’t made a claim and so only Ms Brushett is getting a payout,” she said. He also warned cyclists may not be aware that they can counterclaim. He said: “This was not because I was not injured, but because I do not advocate the claim culture. Had I had legal representation at the time of preparing my defence, I would have taken those steps to protect myself.”He added: “I can only hope that the focus on this case highlights the vulnerability of cyclists.” His solicitor, Emma Farrell, said Mr Hazeldean had initially fought the claim without the help of lawyers, due to the cost involved.Ms Brushett was one of a “throng” of people trying to cross the road at the start of rush hour when the accident occurred. She was looking at her mobile phone when crossing the road from east to west and only noticed Mr Hazeldean approaching at the last moment, Central London County Court was told.She “panicked” and tried to dodge back to a traffic island, but the cyclist, who had been travelling at between 10-15mph, swerved in the same direction and hit her.Both Ms Brushett and Mr Hazeldean were knocked out by the impact.The exact figure he will have to pay will be decided at a later date, but the court heard between them the parties have racked up over £100,000 in bills. Robert HazeldeanCredit:Triangle News Robert Hazeldean Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Close friend Brittany Maher-Kirk has now set up a GoFundMe page in order to help Mr Hazeldean pay his legal bill.On Twitter, she said: “The courts have not only failed Robert today but have set a dangerous precedent for cyclists across the country.”This about so much more than one man on his way home from work.”I’m hoping to raise enough to cover all of Robert’s costs. If I, by some miracle, raise more, then I will donate the rest to @ActionAidUK Robert has sponsored a child through them for 13 years and has had to stop because of financial pressures.” Speaking afterwards, Mr Hazeldean said the ruling would leave him bankrupt and spoke of his regret in not bringing a claim against Ms Brushett himself.  He said: “I am of course deeply disappointed with the outcome, reeling from the impact it will have on my life, and concerned by the precedent that it might set for other cyclists.” read more