Met officer 'caused death of moped driver in high-speed chase through London'

4 October 2021, 20:21

The officer was chasing down two people on a moped.
The officer was chasing down two people on a moped. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A Metropolitan Police officer caused the death of a moped driver by pursuing him in a high-speed chase through north London, a court has heard.

The crash occurred as PC Paul Summerson, 44, chased moped driver Lewis Johnson, 18, and his passenger Louis Kyriacou, 18, through Stoke Newington on the morning of February 9 2016.

Police believed that Mr Johnson and Mr Kyriacou were involved in a "smash and grab" theft in the area, the court heard.

Summerson pursued the moped through traffic, weaving in and out of cars in his BMW, and at one point drove on the wrong side of the road, it was said.

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Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford QC told Kingston Crown Court that Summerson drove "dangerously" and "far below the standard that was to be expected" during the chase.

"He engaged in a high-speed pursuit through streets that were busy," he said.

"At times he was driving very close to the moped. He was weaving in and out of traffic.

"He was undertaking and overtaking. He was driving on the wrong side of the road."

He added: "It is obvious to a careful and competent driver that driving in the way that he did was dangerous."

As he fled from the police car, Mr Johnson also drove in between traffic and even on to a footpath, the jury heard.

Meanwhile, Summerson's BMW had its flashing lights and a siren on during the pursuit.

The chase moved from Stoke Newington through Stamford Hill and on to Clapton Common road, where it caused a panel van to move out of the way, Mr Sandiford told the court.

The van drove directly into the path of Mr Johnson's vehicle and collided with it, causing the moped to spin into a pole on the side of the road - killing Mr Johnson and seriously injuring his passenger.

"The panel van moved over due to the presence of the defendant's BMW, and in doing so moved into the path of the moped, causing a collision," Mr Sandiford said.

He told the jury that the collision with the panel van was "sufficient" to cause Mr Johnson to lose control of his moped.

"The moped slid into a pole," the prosecutor said.

"It was sufficient to cause significant injuries to Lewis Johnson such that he died."

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Following the crash, Summerson ran to the aid of the moped passengers, with paramedics also attending. However, Mr Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

The prosecutor told the jury that Summerson's role as a police officer was not an excuse for how he drove that day.

"There is no special rule or defence for the driving of a police officer," he said.

Summerson, from Colchester, denies one count of causing death by dangerous driving, and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.