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Company boss fined £1,000 for knocking over cyclist in Mercedes then driving away

Friend of Princess Diana ‘did speak to victim’, says lawyer

William Janes
Thursday 15 August 2019 15:48 BST
Lady Cosima Somerset, 57, outside Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court near Clapham Junction
Lady Cosima Somerset, 57, outside Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court near Clapham Junction (SWNS)

The owner of an exclusive company that recruits household staff for wealthy clients has been fined nearly £1,000 for knocking over a cyclist and driving away.

Lady Cosima Somerset, a close friend of Princess Diana, crashed her black Mercedes into the victim near her £2.4m house in Fulham, in west London.

The cyclist suffered shock and whiplash following the collision in Fulham High Street on 18 February, magistrates heard.

Lady Cosima, a niece of Lady Annabel Goldsmith, pleaded guilty to two charges – driving without due care and attention and failing to stop and give details of an accident – when she appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in southwest London.

The co-founder of upmarket lifestyle management services firm Concierge, 57, appeared in court wearing a white jacket and dark trousers and spoke only to confirm her name and address.

Matthew Spratt, prosecuting, said: “She emerged from a side road and collided with the cyclist causing injuries including shock and whiplash. She then failed to stop and exchange details.”

William Glover, defending, said she did in fact stop and get out of her car to see if the cyclist was okay.

CCTV footage shown to the court showed her pulling out into the path of a cyclist, knocking the woman from her bike in front of an ambulance that happened to be passing.

Mr Glover said: “The reason I played that, you may realise, is because of the charge of failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

“It looks and sounds as if Miss Somerset did not stop to check on the injured party, but she did stop and she did speak to the lady in this case.

“Miss Somerset saw the ambulance, then pulled over to the side of the road and as she moved off she saw that the ambulance driver was taking her details and she realised that she should have given her details.”

Mr Glover told the court that Lady Cosima – known as ‘Cozzy’ to her friends – hit the cycle at low speed and that the cyclist suffered only minor injuries.

He added: “These were injuries that were able to be treated by way of painkillers. In my submission, the harm falls towards the lower end.”

Magistrate David Simms said the offences fell within the lower categories of seriousness and fined Lady Cosima a total of £978 for the offences, and added eight penalty points to her licence.

He also ordered her to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £97.

Mr Simms told Lady Cosima: “We have considered what has been said on your behalf and considered the CCTV.

“We do categorise these as a category two in terms of harm and culpability. We are going to deal with it by way of financial penalty today.”

Mr Glover said his client would be able to pay the entire fine in a lump sum, but was told she had 28 days to hand over the money.

SWNS

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