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Jury fails to reach verdict on whether Ayasha Penfold killed cyclist John Durey through dangerous driving in Kingsnorth

A driver, whose Mercedes struck and killed a cyclist, may face a new trial.

A jury failed to decide whether or not Ayasha Penfold, 20, had been driving dangerously in the fatal accident with John Durey, 69.

Now prosecutors have been given a week to decide to ask for a new trial later this year.

Ayasha Penfold
Ayasha Penfold

Penfold, who denied driving dangerously, has admitted causing death by careless driving.

Now Judge Rupert Lowe has heard that after nearly seven hours of deliberations, the 11-person strong jury could not agree on majority verdict if the driving had been dangerous.

After the decision, the judge praised family and friends of the victim and Penfold of the "great dignity" they had displayed during the four-day hearing at Canterbury Crown Court.

Penfold had denied she drove her car dangerously when she overtook two vehicles on the A2070 in May last year but failed to spot the cyclist coming in the opposite direction.

Time trialist Mr Durey from Lenham died later from his injuries days after the head-on collision.

Penfold, who was granted bail until the next court hearing, was given an interim driving ban.

Prosecutor Ahmed Hossain had alleged Penfold’s driving had fallen far below that expected of a competent driver before her car was involved in the head on collision.

John Durey, who died in the crash
John Durey, who died in the crash

He claimed the cyclist, who was taking part in the organised event at 7.21 pm in good weather on the long stretch of the road at Kingsnorth near Ashford.

The prosecutor said Mr Durey, who was cycling at 22 mph, in the correct lane would have been visible to the driver for at least 45 seconds prior to the crash.

“She was driving in the opposite direction when her vehicle struck Mr Durey head on causing him severe injuries which resulted in his death on June 5 last year.

“The road was clear. There was good visibility and it was a straight passage of road.”

Penfold, who is from Brenzett, told the jury she had been to Ashford to visit friend and had not been in a rush to return home.

"I felt the lorry and car in front of me were moving slowly and I wanted to overtake them."

Penfold added she initially believed she had stopped before being struck by the cycle but later claimed she thought the lorry driver had moved out forcing her wider into the opposite carriageway.

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