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Police officer charged over deaths of child actor and family in car crash
18 May 2021, 20:38
A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged over the deaths of a child actor and his aunt who both died in a car crash in south-east London.
Police constable Edward Welch faces four charges involving dangerous driving after Makayah McDermott, 10, and Rozanne Cooper, 34, were killed in a police chase almost five years ago.
A stolen black Ford Focus, driven by convicted car thief Joshua Dobby, then aged 23, hit the pair as they walked along Lennard Road in Penge in August 2016.
Dobby had been driving at three times the speed limit down one-way roads and through red lights to evade officers, before losing control.
But it was announced in 2017 that an investigation would be launched into PC Welch and his colleague's actions during the chase.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) provided a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which on Tuesday authorised the charges of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and dangerous driving against PC Welch.
The second officer has not been charged, as the CPS concluded the legal test for a prosecution had not been met, the IOPC said.
In June 2019, an inquest determined Makayah and Ms Cooper were unlawfully killed by Dobby.
Dobby, the drug addict son of a millionaire, was jailed for 12 years for two counts of manslaughter with a further three to serve on licence in February 2017.
At the time of the crash, he was out on licence and was on his way to sell the stolen car for £300 to buy more drugs, the Old Bailey heard.
Dobby had hit a bollard before ploughing into Makayah and Ms Cooper, and three other members of the family, two aged 13 and one aged eight.
After the crash, he jumped out of the car and ran from the scene.
The court date and location for Pc Welch's first appearance has not yet been fixed.