An investment banker whose dog left a cyclist brain damaged after running across his path has won the right to fight a court order that she must pay him up to £50,000 in compensation.

David Crane (71), was on his way to work when Carina read’s dog, Carina, ran in his path as he chased a ball at Acton Green Common. This happened in March 2016.

After braking to stop the dog, the publishing executive suffered from a brain hemorhage.  

He claimed that Ms. Read (an Irish financier/entrepreneur) negligently failed her to control the pet while she exercised him on the common. took the case to the Central London County Court where he demanded up to £50,000 compensation.  

Ms. Read denied that she was responsible and claimed the accident had occurred as a freak occurrence. Her dog Felix, however, ran up to the bike in pursuit of her because the ball struck him in the head.  

Last year, Judge Patrick Andrews declared Ms. Read negligent. She failed to call Felix when he was heading towards the road and the approaching cyclist.

However, Judge Alan Saggerson granted permission for the banker to appeal that decision. 

Carina Read

David Crane

David Crane (right), 71, alleged Carina Read (left) negligently failed to keep her pet under control while exercising him on Acton Green Common, west London, in March 2016

Judge told court that all cyclists on roads and paths have an inherent right to their own decisions. We also know that dogs owners have an equal entitlement to choose what they do, regardless of the opinions of others. It’s quite a conundrum.’

Animals Act 1971: You can still be sued even though your animal isn’t dangerous 

The 1971 Animals Act provides that if an animal causes damage to another animal, the keeper is responsible for such damage. 

  • It is damage that an animal caused, or was likely to cause, if it was not controlled.
  • It was likely that there would be severe damage. This could have been due to animal characteristics which were not found in other species of animals or not found at certain times and under particular circumstances.
  • These were the characteristics that were recognized by the keeper.


Last year Mr Crane sued Mrs Read for negligence under both the 1971 Animals Act and negligently. However, her lawyers said that this only covers damage caused by dangerous animals.

According to the’seasoned cyclist,’ he said that he had ridden his bike all over London in 40 years and never experienced any mishaps. He also said that he rode at no more then five miles an hour when his dog came up behind him.

The accident happened in a “split second”, he said, and added that the first time he was conscious of the dog it was ‘right in front’ of him. 

Mr Crane denied claims he was hurrying to get to work on time or that he was riding too fast.

Helen Pooley, his barrister, stated that he suffered a “not insignificant” brain injury, which affected his hearing, memory and ability to drive. It also left him with headaches, as well as impairing his senses of smell and taste.

Crane claimed he is a 100 percent dog lover and stated outside court that he walks his dogs with friends because he cannot ski or ride his bicycle anymore.

Her barrister Nigel Lewers, who represented Ms Read in the case, said that Felix was the one to blame and she should not be held responsible. 

He stated that the ball bounced off of the dog’s head and he chased after it. The ball was then deflected to the path.

She tried to warn Felix but Felix chased after the ball along the path, and was then struck by the front tire of his bicycle.

“She was doing the thing she, and many others in similar or similar places of the common did – throwing her ball to her dog along an open area of grass instead of in the direction of the path.

Read More Felix said that Felix ran in front because he was stunned by the impact of the ball on his forehead.

He was also accused of going too fast, and she claimed he should have stopped riding along the path. It was not permissible for cyclists according to local laws.

Mr Crane was riding to work across a park on his morning commute when Ms Read's cocker spaniel (pictured) ran into his path

On his morning commute to work, Mr Crane was crossing a park when his cocker spaniel Ms Read (pictured) ran in his way.

Judge Andrews made a finding against Read in December 2013. He said: “After considering all facts and evidence, it is clear that Ms Read placed Mr Crane at serious risk because she did not call Felix back when she had the time.”

Judge Saggerson said to Ms. Read’s lawyer Nigel Lewers that she lost the case because the judge ruled that dog owners had a duty of care and should avoid causing personal injuries.

Requesting permission to appeal, Mr Lewers stated that the accident had not been anticipated and that Judge Andrews was misunderstood.

He claimed that Judge Andrews’ decision was based on an ‘understanding of facts’. Ms Read said in her ruling that she had “thrown the ball towards” the path. That wasn’t Mr Crane or her case.

This feeds into probability. In this instance, there was no foreseeable injury risk.

Judge Saggerson granted Ms. Read permission to appeal against the ruling and stated that he would listen to the case – “not because of any particular liking for dogs or cyclists, but because I’ve read all the files in detail.” 

He said: ‘It seems to me obvious that it’s for the claimant in the first instance to prove that he was entitled to be cycling where he was cycling; either that he was cycling on a permitted pathway or that there was no explicit prohibition on cycling.

“It appears to me that the claimant can say that he was allowed to ride here, but that it is up to him to prove that.

It seems possible to argue that this wasn’t a allowed cycle path, or at least that bicycles are not permitted on that part of this path. This may be a limitation of the duty that someone exercising their dog in the vicinity of a pathway has toward somebody who is inappropriately riding the path.   

According to court papers, Mr Crane’s claim was for up to £50,000 compensation, although the exact amount he is due if he wins has not yet been decided.