MTB Instructor Loses Court Case Over Paralysed Student

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As we reported here, a Norwich based MTB instructor was facing a £4 million claim from a former student left paralysed after an over the bars accident during a coach session.

Yesterday the judge hearing the case announced that instructor Leon Maclean was 80% to blame for the accident which took place on a steep section of Holmbury Hill.

The former primary school teacher was described by his legal team as having a ‘passion for mountain biking’ and was not ‘a reckless or authoritarian individual’.

The full details of the case have been reported by the Eastern Daily Express.

The judge ruled that Maclean was negligent in encouraging Mr Ahmed, who had been riding mountain bikes for many years prior to the accident but was still considered a novice by the judge, of riding down the steep slope without first assessing Mr. Ahmed’s riding skills. The judge went to state that Maclean had exposed Mr. Ahmed to serious risk of harm in doing so.

Mr. Ahmed now faces the prospect of receiving a payout estimated to be around £3 million.

The beginners course, costing £79,  was designed help riders tackle, “technically demanding terrain in a safe and controlled manner”.

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Comments (7)

    I’m surprised.
    I suppose the cost of courses will rise to cover increased insurance costs.

    Insurance will pay out, so instructor will be OK. Probably not a bad outcome, victim is in a wheel chair for life…


    interesting description of someone who rode there own bike for fun and in no way were forced to do so by anyone else.

    Unfortunately “s**t happens” is now legally equivalent for “loads of cash”……..

    How else would you describe somebody in a wheelchair for the rest of their life? Even if he’d done that riding on his own he’d still have been a victim – before you consider that the court in possession of significantly more information than you ruled the instructor 80% responsible.

    If you get cash from a court it is because somebody was legally negligent.

    Victim = instructor and his insurance .
    12 years mtb experience and he went of piste against the instructors advice .
    These type of cases are a disgrace imho.

    Just read the Eastern Daily article. Typically sensationalist journalism, but gives some important details. They were on Barry Knows Best, which must be the most ridden mountain bike trail is the South East. There’s only one steep bit about 6 feet long, the rest I reckon my 6 year old daughter could ride. Doesn’t stop it being fun, but it’s hardly Morzine. So in my opinion, the instructor was justified taking relative beginners down that trail. I’d say both instructor and student were unlucky…

    Mountain biking is not a risk free sport/hobby. Isn’t that what makes it fun. Many times I have gone down trials and afterwards thought ‘bloody hell if that had gone wrong….’. But isn’t that part of what its all about. I feel for the guy who was injured and for the instructor but it could be any of us on at any time.

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