A Metropolitan Police officer hit and fatally injured an elderly pedestrian while driving a van full of new recruits, a court has heard. PC Daniel Bowen was driving the police carrier which crashed into Peter Dawe, 83 on a crossing in East Ham.
Body-worn video footage appeared to show the 29-year-old officer doing something with his radio, and an eyewitness suggested he was turning to speak to colleagues before the crash on July 15, 2020, jurors were told. Mr Dawe was taken to hospital, where he died on August 3.
Bowen is on trial at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court charged with causing Mr Dawe’s death by careless driving. Opening the case, prosecutor Philip McGhee said Bowen, in his role as street duties instructor, was driving with two other instructors and six new police officers in a Mercedes minibus.
At about 10.50am, he accepted a request to deliver a court warning to someone in Canning Town, the court heard. Mr McGhee said it was not an emergency so there was no need for Bowen to turn on his siren and blue lights.
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He stopped at a red light at the junction between High Street North and Ron Leighton Way, where Mr Dawe was crossing. The jury heard he started to walk across the road as the lights were about to turn green and then paused part way, looking at the traffic that was coming from Ron Leighton Way to his left.
The jury heard with the lights having changed, Bowen moved off and turned the corner into Ron Leighton Way, where he hit Mr Dawe. Mr McGhee said: “Mr Dawe was struck by part of the front of the carrier and fell to the ground. The defendant immediately stopped and got out to help.”
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The victim was given first aid before he was taken to hospital. He had suffered rib and shoulder fractures as well as lung and head injuries. The court heard that Bowen did not deny hitting Mr Dawe but disputed that he was driving carelessly.
Mr McGhee said the jury would assess evidence from body-worn video that Bowen was doing something with his radio and eyewitness testimony that he was turning to speak to colleagues.
Bowen, of Hornchurch, has denied a charge of causing death by careless driving. The trial before Mr Justice Wall continues.
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