A LEGAL wrangle over the death of cyclist Ruby Milnes has finally ended almost seven years after the tragedy.

The 17-year-old student was killed in May 2008 when she was involved in a collision with a lorry using a road to York Racecourse which was crossed by the cycle track she was using.

York Racecourse lost an application for costs against the Health and Safety Executive over its abortive prosecution of the course in 2012 for alleged health and safety breaches.

At the time Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, ruled the case was outside the HSE's jurisdiction.

A second HSE prosecution in 2013 ended with a jury failing to reach verdicts on the same charges. It then decided not to seek a retrial and the racecourse was formally found not guilty.

Counsel for the racecourse, John Cooper, argued at York Crown Court that the HSE's failure to realise it did not have jurisdiction over the 2012 case amounted to negligence, which led the course facing unnecessary costs.

But Alex Offer, for the HSE, said the application was “untenable”, the executive had not been unreasonable or negligent and the racecourse itself should have raised concerns about the issue at an early stage.

Judge Ashurst said there had been an error by the HSE but this did not amounted to unnecessary or improper action, or to negligence, and rejected the course’s application. “Mistakes do happen,” he said.

A spokesman for York Racecourse said Friday's hearing was to consider the issue of legal costs arising from the decision in 2012 to declare the trial a “nullity,” not the case itself.

“Had any such costs been awarded, they would have passed to the insurance company that had provided the cover for the original case.

“The court only heard legal arguments around the costs issue, consequently there was no evidence heard in regard to the specifics of the case itself.”

Ruby, of Bishophill, York was cycling home from York College along the cycle track which runs behind the racecourse when the collision occurred.

A series of improvements were carried out in the weeks afterwards, including the trimming of a hedge to improve sightlines, new 5mph signs on the road, warning signs on the road and cycle path, and alterations to a barrier.