Police officer caused death of boy, 10, and his aunt while chasing joyrider, court hears

Police officer, 34, caused the deaths of 10-year-old child actor and his aunt while chasing joyrider at up to three times the speed limit, court hears

  • PC Edward Welch caused the deaths of a child actor and his aunt, a court heard
  • Makayah McDermott, 10, and Rozanne Cooper, 34, died in a crash in August 2016
  • Welch pursued Joshua Dobby as he sped through a south-east London borough 
  • He went the wrong way down one way streets and up to 60mph in a 20mph zone 

A Met Police officer caused the deaths of an aspiring child actor and his aunt while chasing after a joyrider at up to three times the speed limit, a court heard.

Rozanne Cooper, 34, and her 10-year-old nephew Makayah McDermott died in August 2016 while PC Edward Welch pursued Joshua Dobby as he sped through a south-east London borough.

Welch, 34, chased after Dobby – the son of a millionaire pet food boss –  the wrong way down one way streets, across junctions, and at up to 60mph in a 20mph zone in the six minute pursuit, it was said.

Dobby, then 23, lost control of the stolen Ford Focus, mounted the pavement and hit a bollard, before ploughing into the Cooper family. 

Jurors heard a third child, aged 13, was also hit and seriously injured in the horrific smash in Penge, southeast London.

Dobby was convicted of two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and causing serious injury by dangerous driving in February 2017, the Old Bailey heard.

Makayah had appeared in an Asda advert and had just landed a leading role in a major new television series when he was killed. He also appeared in a production of Wizard of Oz with his sisters.

Makayah McDermott, 10, was killed when then 23-year-old Joshua Dobby ploughed into him and his family following a police chase in Penge, south-east London in August 2016

Makayah McDermott, 10, was killed when then 23-year-old Joshua Dobby ploughed into him and his family following a police chase in Penge, south-east London in August 2016

PC Edward Welch (pictured) caused the deaths of the aspiring child actor and his aunt while chasing after a joyrider at up to three times the speed limit, a court heard

PC Edward Welch (pictured) caused the deaths of the aspiring child actor and his aunt while chasing after a joyrider at up to three times the speed limit, a court heard

The pursuit lasted six minutes and Welch reached speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone, the court heard.

Welch and his passenger, PC Jack Keher, also travelled the wrong way down one way streets, ignored no right turn signs and sped across junctions at speeds of over 40mph.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC argued there was a particular risk to pedestrians when the cars sped down roads where there was not room for two cars to pass due to parked cars.

He said: ‘The car the defendant pursued had been reported stolen six days earlier.

‘It is important to recognise therefore that the offence suspected was one that did not involve a risk, either to life, or to public safety.

‘There was no indication before Welch saw the Ford Focus that it was being driven inappropriately or dangerously on that day.’

After the collision PC Welch and his passenger, PC Jack Keher, gave chase to Dobby while members of the public sought to help those who had been hit, the court heard.

Roseanne Cooper, 34, was also killed in the fatal collision. Jurors heard a third child, aged 13, was also hit and seriously injured in the horrific smash in Penge, southeast London

Roseanne Cooper, 34, was also killed in the fatal collision. Jurors heard a third child, aged 13, was also hit and seriously injured in the horrific smash in Penge, southeast London

The pursuit lasted six minutes and Welch reached speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone, the court heard

The pursuit lasted six minutes and Welch reached speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone, the court heard

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC argued there was a particular risk to pedestrians when the cars sped down roads where there was not room for two cars to pass due to parked cars

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC argued there was a particular risk to pedestrians when the cars sped down roads where there was not room for two cars to pass due to parked cars

Mr Atkinson also shared how said the Ford Focus had been stolen six days before the collision by Dobby, who was then 23.

‘He had lost control of the car as he reached the junction with Lennard Road, crashed into a bollard and crushed the three victims under the car.

‘At the time of the crash, Dobby was being pursued by a marked police BMW motor vehicle.

‘The police vehicle was being driven by the defendant, Edward Welch, an experienced police constable. PC Welch had joined the Metropolitan Police Service in November 2008.

‘He was an advanced driver, who had obtained his Advanced Car Pursuits qualification in September 2013 and was qualified to undertake police pursuits.

‘His passenger was PC Jack Keher, a relatively inexperienced officer who had joined the Met in February 2015.

‘He and his passenger, PC Keher, had identified that the Ford Focus was stolen, and wished to speak to its driver about that fact.

‘However, when Welch activated his lights and siren, the stolen car chose not to stop but to accelerate away.

Joshua Dobby (pictured), then 23, was being chased by police as he drove at three times the speed limit, through red lights, and at more than 50mph the wrong way down a one-way street before he ploughed into family. He was jailed for 12 years after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter

Joshua Dobby (pictured), then 23, was being chased by police as he drove at three times the speed limit, through red lights, and at more than 50mph the wrong way down a one-way street before he ploughed into family. He was jailed for 12 years after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter

‘From that moment on, it is clear that the Ford Focus was trying to get away from, rather than to stop for, the police car, and that whilst the police car continued to chase the stolen car it would drive in a dangerous manner in a determined effort to escape.

‘Remembering of course that PC Welch was a police officer, he was permitted to exceed the speed limit when that was necessary to the undertaking of his important role.

‘As a police officer he was also aware of instruction given to police officers as to the proper approach to a pursuit.

‘The Pursuit Standing Operating Procedure makes clear that: “pursuing officers have a duty of care to themselves, their colleagues, and members of the public. This includes the suspect.”

PC Welch, of Chatham, Kent, denies two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one of dangerous driving on August 31, 2016.  

The trial continues.

Source

Related posts