A solicitor who crashed while on a mountain biking course in the Surrey Hills has successfully sued his instructor.
Asif Ahmed was riding a bombhole on the Barry Knows Best trail in 2012 when his front wheel caught on a “clumpy, grassy piece of ground” and he went over the bars. The crash left Ahmed paralysed and facing the prospect of the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The beginners’ skills course, costing £79, was designed to help riders tackle more “technically demanding terrain in a safe and controlled manner”. Mr Ahmed had ridden mountain bikes before but claims he was a novice to rough terrain.
A High Court judge ruled Leon MacLean, the instructor, was 80 per cent to blame for the accident. Damages are yet to be confirmed but are expected to be in excess of £3million
The judge ruled that McClean was negligent in “encouraging” Mr Ahmed to ride “at speed” down the sharp slope without first assessing his biking skills. Describing Mr Ahmed as a “novice rider”, the judge said he “should have been warned” not to take the most difficult route down the hill, the BBC reports.
Mr MacLean, a former primary school teacher, had exposed him to “a serious risk of harm”, the judge said. However Mr Ahmed was found 20 per cent liable for contributory negligence as he had not raised concerns about his ability.
MacLean is still a leading mountain biking instructor and there was “no reason to believe” he was not a competent one.