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York Racecourse due back in court over Ruby Milnes tragedy
YORK Racecourse is facing fresh legal proceedings over the death of a teenage cyclist in a crash with a lorry near the course.
Ruby Milnes, 17, was on her way home from York College to Bishophill in May 2008 when the accident happened. The lorry was on a road that crossed a cycle path that Ruby was using.
The Health and Safety Executive brought two charges against the racecourse, but the case collapsed in November after a dispute over whether the HSE or City of York Council had jurisdiction for the prosecution.
Proceedings have now been relaunched and a court hearing will be held this week.
An HSE spokeswoman said responsibility for enforcement had now been transferred to the HSE from the city council, and a court date for an initial hearing had been set for tomorrow.
She said the new legal action had the full support of Ruby’s parents, Allison and David Milnes. In an emailed statement, Mr and Mrs Milnes said it had been a shock for the family when last November’s case collapsed after they had waited so long for legal action.
They said: “We are pleased that the HSE has now been properly identified as the agency responsible for enforcement and will be in a position to conduct the prosecution.”
York Racecourse spokesman James Brennan said the racecourse would continue to work with the agency, but “remains ready to strongly defend the allegations”.
He said: “York Racecourse has always been mindful of the loss of the Milnes family that sits behind this case and therefore reiterates its sincere condolences to them on the tragic accident that befell Ruby, nearly five years ago.
“Last November, a previous case was declared a nullity in York Crown Court when Judge Stephen Ashurst ruled that following a fundamental flaw by the prosecution the Health and Safety Executive had no authority to bring the case so, in turn, the court had no jurisdiction to hear it.”
Mr Brennan also said within days of the incident the racecourse had worked with the HSE to implement safety measures following Ruby’s death.