Court hears about fatal Lewis Johnson police chase crash

Police motorbikes.

A Met officer was accused in court of driving dangerously in a high-speed chase and causing the death of a moped driver. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

A Metropolitan Police officer caused the death of a moped driver by pursuing him in a high-speed chase through Hackney, a trial has heard.

The fatal crash occurred as PC Paul Summerson, 44, pursued moped driver Lewis Johnson, 18, and his pillion passenger Louis Kyriacou, 18, through Stoke Newington on the morning of February 9, 2016.

Summerson, of Alexander Court, Colchester, denies one count of causing death by dangerous driving, and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford QC told Kingston Crown Court that Summerson drove “dangerously” and “far below the standard that was to be expected” during the chase.

The court heard police believed that Mr Johnson and Mr Kyriacou were involved in a “smash and grab” theft in the area.

Summerson pursued the moped through traffic, weaving in and out of cars in his BMW, and at one point drove on the wrong side of the road, the court heard.

“He engaged in a high-speed pursuit through streets that were busy,” Mr Sandiford said.

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He added: “It is obvious to a careful and competent driver that driving in the way that he did was dangerous.”

As he fled from the police car, Mr Johnson also drove in between traffic and even on to a footpath, the jury heard.

Summerson’s BMW had its flashing lights and a siren on during the pursuit, the court was told.

The chase moved from Stoke Newington through Stamford Hill and on to Clapton Common road, where it caused a panel van to move out of the way, Mr Sandiford told the court.

But the court heard the van drove directly into the path of Mr Johnson’s vehicle and collided with it, causing the moped to spin into a pole on the side of the road – killing Mr Johnson and seriously injuring his passenger.

“The panel van moved over due to the presence of the defendant’s BMW, and in doing so moved into the path of the moped, causing a collision,” Mr Sandiford said.

Following the crash, Summerson ran to the aid of the moped passengers.

Paramedics attended, but Mr Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

The prosecutor told the jury that Summerson’s role as a police officer was not an excuse for how he drove that day.

“There is no special rule or defence for the driving of a police officer,” he said.

The trial continues.