Police officer charged five years after 10-year-old boy and aunt were killed during high-speed pursuit (Report)

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Police officer charged five years after 10-year-old boy and aunt were killed during high-speed pursuit (Report)
Police officer charged five years after 10-year-old boy and aunt were killed during high-speed pursuit (Report)

A police officer has been charged after a child actor and his aunt died after being hit by a car during a high-speed chase.

Met Police officer PC Edward Welch, 32, faces four charges, including two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after Makayah McDermott and Rozanne Cooper were killed nearly five years ago.

Joshua Dobby – the estranged son of a millionaire – ploughed into talented 10-year-old Makayah and his aunt Ms Cooper, 34, after losing control of the stolen Ford Focus in August 2016, his trial heard.

He drove four times over the speed limit of 20mph, the wrong way down a one way street and was still travelling at 50mph as he mounted the kerb.

Ms Cooper had been walking down the busy road in Penge, south east London, with her daughter, Makayah and his older twin sisters when the car ploughed into them.

The three girls were taken to hospital for their injuries but survived the crash.

Dobby stole the car after finding the keys in the street and was on his way to sell it to buy drugs, the Old Bailey heard when he was jailed for 12 years in February 2017.

Police abandoned their chase as he drove at 80mph through red lights and through a 30mph zone at 70mph in Penge, the court was told.

Eight months after Dobby was jailed, the police watchdog the IPCC announced an investigation was being launched and that the two officers involved in the chase could face criminal charges.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service said Met Police officer PC Edward Welch was charged with causing death by dangerous driving over the deaths of Makayah and Ms Cooper.

The 32-year-old officer faces four charges, including two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, one count of causing injury by dangerous driving and one count of dangerous driving.

A second PC who was with PC Welch has not been charged as the CPS concluded there was no legal basis for prosecution.

A spokesman said: “The CPS has authorised charging PC Edward Welch, an officer from the Metropolitan Police, with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and dangerous driving on August 31, 2016, in Penge, south east London.

“A second PC who was with PC Welch has not been charged as the CPS concluded the legal test for a prosecution was not met for any alleged offences.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has a right to a fair trial.”

Makayah had been given leading roles in productions at his south London theatre school and just weeks before his death auditioned for a part in a major new television series.

He starred in a production of Wizard of Oz spin-off The Wiz not long before he died.

The young star had also performed at nearby Catford’s Broadway Theatre.

After the accident, around 20 passers-by were said to have rushed to lift the car in order for the twins to crawl free.

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