A POLICE officer caused the deaths of a child actor and his aunt when the joyrider he was chasing smashed into them, a court heard today.
PC Edward Welch, 34, allegedly pursued Joshua Dobby the wrong way down one way streets, across junctions and at up to 60mph in a 20mph zone.
During the six-minute chase through Penge, South East London, Dobby mounted the pavement and hit a bollard in the stolen Ford Focus he was travelling in.
He then ploughed into Rozanne Cooper, 34, and her 10-year-old nephew Makayah McDermott killing them both, it was said.
The Old Bailey was told a third child, aged 13, was also hit and seriously injured in the horror smash in August 2016.
Dobby was convicted of two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and causing serious injury by dangerous driving in February 2017, jurors heard.
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Welch was pursuing Dobby while accompanied by "relatively inexperienced" officer PC Jack Keher in a marked BMW, it was said.
Jurors were told the cop had activated the lights and siren on the car to get Dobby to stop but he accelerated away.
During the six minute chase, the Met Police officer allegedly reached speeds of 60mph – three times the 20mph speed limit.
Jurors were told he also drove the wrong way down one way streets, ignored no right turn signs and sped across junctions while exceeding 40mph.
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Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC 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."
The court was also told Welch, who had been an officer since 2008, was permitted to break the speed limit given his role as a cop.
But Mr Atkinson said under guidelines, "pursuing officers have a duty of care to themselves, their colleagues, and members of the public. This includes the suspect."
Makayah, who previously starred in an Asda advert, had just landed a leading role in a TV series when he was killed.
He also had roles in productions at his South London theatre school and appeared in a production of Wizard of Oz with his sisters.
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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 31 August 2016.
The trial continues.
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