2 Temple Gardens barrister takes matters into his own hands after police declined to take action
A cycling-mad silk has made legal history bringing what is reckoned to be the UK’s first ever private prosecution for dangerous driving, claiming he was nearly thrown to the ground following a near collision with a speeding motorist.
Martin Porter QC — who is a leading personal injury specialist at 2 Temple Gardens — alleges Aslan Kayard, 33, overtook too fast and too close during rush-hour traffic, back in February last year.
Porter QC (pictured below), 53, claims Kayard, who is ironically a driving instructor, “shattered” Highway Code rules, when he passed the cycling-enthusiast on the A315 Hounslow to Staines road in West London.
According to the Mail Online, the court heard how Kayardi — who was driving his Audi sportscar at the time — was doing more than 50mph in a 30mph zone and passed Porter leaving a gap of as little as 24 inches.
Porter, who is behind the blog The Cycling Lawyer, caught the whole incident on a video camera attached to his handlebars. The footage showed Porter being blown towards the kerb as Kayardi’s vehicle sped past him. A monitor — worn by the keen cyclist at the time — indicated a sharp rise in his heart rate, as Kayardi went by.
Described as “extremely efficient and pragmatic” on his chambers’ profile, Cambridge-educated Porter was called to the bar in 1986 and took silk in 2006.
The QC has represented a number of cyclists in civil matters in the past, but strongly refuted the suggestion that he was using Kayard as a scapegoat. Claiming he felt “endangered at the time”, Porter told the court he was “well placed to deter very bad driving”.
Kayardi — who has been a driving instructor since 2009, and has a clean licence — claims he is innocent, and it is the top QC who was at fault, accusing him of cycling dangerously.
Issuing a statement via his personal Twitter account last week, Porter said he “believed it to be the first private prosecution for a motoring offence in modern times.”
Statement re Monday's Private Prosecution pic.twitter.com/CagEdyLlOP
— Martin Porter QC (@MartinPorter6) March 1, 2016
The 2 Temple Garden’s barrister has hit headlines before. Back in 2014, Legal Cheek reported how Porter had captured a road rage incident — that occurred in 2010 — on a camera attached to his helmet.
On this occasion the police weren’t willing to pursue the matter — despite the footage — so Porter was forced to issue a complaint against the Crown Prosecution Service. It was only when the top QC brought the incident to the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions that an investigation was launched.
Justice served, Porter’s tormentor was slapped with a £250 fine and £300 costs. Porter’s latest case continues.
UPDATE: 13:40pm Wednesday 9 March
According to a tweet posted by Porter, Kayard has been acquitted.
Just left Court. Kayardi acquitted. Statement later
— Martin Porter QC (@MartinPorter6) March 9, 2016