Police officer charged over 2016 Hackney moped chase death

The scene of the moped crash on February 9, 2016. Pic: @hatzola on Twitter

Almost five years after the death of a student during a moped chase in Hackney, a police officer has appeared in court charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

The charges follow an application for judicial review into an earlier Crown Prosecution Service decision not to prosecute the officer.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard last Tuesday that police officer Paul Summerson, 43, from Colchester, was involved in the pursuit leading to the death of Lewis Johnson, 18, from Holloway, in February 2016.

Police officers were pursuing Johnson and his passenger on suspicion of theft when the moped collided with a van near Clapton Common in Upper Clapton. Johnson went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim’s mother, Ann Johnson, was not satisfied with the original investigation into the circumstances of her son’s death. In 2017, she told the Camden New Journal: “All I know is that Lewis went out one morning and I feel like I was robbed of the chance to say goodbye properly… I want it investigated thoroughly.” 

The incident was investigated by police but the Crown Prosecution Service, decided not to charge Summerson or his colleague. However, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the police watchdog, also launched an inquiry into the case, releasing a report in May 2017 which led to the judicial review.

Summerson has also been charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving after the accident left a second man, Louis Kyriacou, 20, seriously injured. Summerson was released on unconditional bail, and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on December 1.

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