Paula Jurek: Islington student’s family’s two years of hell as legal case collapsed on eve of trial

The family of Paula Jurek hold her photograph. Pictured (from left) are her father Zbigniew, sister

The family of Paula Jurek hold her photograph. Pictured (from left) are her father Zbigniew, sister Magda, and mother Iwona Jurek. - Credit: Archant

Islington student Paula Jurek’s family have revealed their two years of hell after the legal case concerning her death collapsed on the eve of trial.

The lorry driver involved in the fatal collision was told he would not face charges after experienced cyclist Paula died while riding in Camden Town in April 2011.

However, by July 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had charged him with causing death by careless driving.

The driver’s solicitors then lodged an “abuse of process” defence saying that he should not face trial because he had been treated unfairly by police and the CPS, arguing that he was told he would not be charged and the decision was then changed.

In an email of October 2012, seen by the Gazette, a police officer told the Jurek family: “We will say that, although mistakes were made, the process has not been unfair on the driver and the interests of justice are so important in this case that he should face trial.”

Legal proceedings continued but in March, just days before the trial was due to begin, the case was discontinued after a witness provided new evidence.

The witness gave details about Paula’s position in relation to the lorry before the collision, which had not been heard before.

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Police told the family the CPS no longer believed “the case could realistically lead to a conviction”.

Paula’s father Zbigniew and mother Iwona, both teachers who live in Poland, have also been left to cover the costs of travelling to the UK to attend legal hearings.

Her father said: “This has killed our family.”

A police spokesman said: “We understand this has been a difficult time for them and apologise for any distress the drawn-out nature of this investigation may have caused.”