Incident on the Surrey hills in 2012
A solicitor left paralysed after crashing on a mountain bike skills course is suing the instructor for £4million.
Solictor Asif Ahmed was left paralysed after going over the bars on the Barry Knows Best trail in the Surrey Hills. Mr Ahmed is suing his instructor for £4million.
In 2012 Mr Ahmed was on a £79 beginners’ skills course intended to get riders on ‘technically demanding terrain in a safe and controlled manner’. Mr Ahmed was riding downhill when his front wheel snagged on a “clumpy, grassy piece of ground” and he was sent over the handlebars, a report from the Telegraph states. He was left paralysed from this crash.
Mr Ahmed’s legal team claim that Leon MacLean – the instructor – put pressure on Mr Ahmed to ride too far beyond his skill level, “progressed this group too fast”. Frank Burton QC: “A mountain bike rider who is on a course for beginners and is a novice should not be catastrophically injured in the first 75 minutes of an introductory training course.
“A novice rider on a first training course should expect the instructor to pick the terrain, to pick the course, to pick the method of training so the risk is minimised, so this accident should not have occurred.
“The accident occurred because of defective instruction and defective teaching.”
It’s alleged that Mr Maclean instructed Mr Ahmed to “descend the gulley at speed and without braking”. Mr MacLean asserts that Mr Ahmed repeatedly went down the wrong section of the track despite instruction. “I am 100 per cent sure he made the same mistake twice. I was surprised at the time. It has been on my mind for four-and-a-half years and I am absolutely positive it happened” Mr MacLean said.
Mr Maclean’s lawyer, Tim Horlock QC said: “There was nothing unreasonable about permitting Mr Ahmed, a mountain biker of 12 years’ experience, to have a run down the slope once, or more than once.”
Although Mr Ahmed had ridden mountain bikes before he claims to be a novice when it comes to “rough terrain” and “descents”.
Presiding over the case, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said the deciding factor in the case was “whether Mr MacLean sufficiently enabled Mr Ahmed, by training and the like, to complete the slope with safety”.
Mr Justice Baker will give his verdict on the case at a later date.