Met officer cleared after car chase that killed 10-year-old boy and aunt

A Met officer has been cleared of dangerous driving after a 60mph car chase killed a 10-year-old boy and his aunt in 2016.

On August 31, 2016, PC Edward Welch was driving a marked police car chasing Joshua Dobby in a stolen Ford Focus when Dobby hit three members of the same family in Penge.

The crash, in Lennard Road, killed Rozanne Cooper, 34, and her 10-year-old nephew, Makayah McDermott, and severely injured Makayah’s 13-year-old sister.

Dobby got out of the car and made off with PC Welch and his colleague giving chase on foot. They arrested Dobby in a nearby garden.

Following a police investigation Dobby, then 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the Old Bailey in March 2017 and was jailed for 12 years. He had earlier admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The IOPC began an investigation that concluded PC Welch may have committed a criminal offence due to the standard of his driving.

The Crown Prosecution Service determined the threshold for bringing charges was not met. Following two reviews, the CPS authorised charges against PC Welch in May 2021.

No charges were brought against his colleague, who has since resigned. He was a passenger in the car and in contact with the police control room during the pursuit.

PC Welch, attached to South Command Unit, was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving on Wednesday, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

A misconduct review will now take place to consider misconduct proceedings for PC Welch as well as a former officer who was also involved in the pursuit. PC Welch is currently on restricted duties.

(Picture: The Met)

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