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Met officer charged over two deaths during pursuit

A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged over the deaths of a child actor and his aunt, after a car crash that killed them both in south-east London.

PC Edward Welch faces four charges involving dangerous driving after Makayah McDermott, 10, and Rozanne Cooper, 34, were killed in a police pursuit almost five years ago.

Three girls were also taken to hospital for injuries sustained in the collision.

PC Welch was the driver of a marked police car that pursued the vehicle. A second, now former officer, who was with him has not been charged.

A stolen black Ford Focus, driven by convicted car thief Joshua Dobby, then aged 23, hit the pair as they walked along Lennard Road in Penge in August 2016.

Dobby had been driving at three times the speed limit down one-way roads and through red lights to evade officers, before losing control of the vehicle.

He hit a bollard before ploughing into Makayah and Ms Cooper, and three other members of the family, two aged 13 and one aged eight.

After the crash, he jumped out of the car and ran from the scene.

He was jailed for 12 years for two counts of manslaughter with a further three to serve on licence in February 2017. He was out on licence at the time and was on his way to sell the stolen car for £300 to buy more drugs, the Old Bailey heard.

In June 2019, an inquest determined Makayah and Ms Cooper were unlawfully killed by Dobby.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched a 12-month investigation which concluded in August 2017.

The IOPC then passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) relating to PC Welch’s and the other officer involved for their actions during and following the pursuit.

Yesterday (Tuesday 19 May) the CPS authorised the charges of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and dangerous driving.

A court date has not yet been set

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