Driving instructors

Met police officer found not guilty of causing death by reckless driving, following IOPC investigation

After being cleared by a jury, a Metropolitan Police officer was found not guilty of causing death by reckless driving.

The trial of PC Daniel Bowen, 29, based at Stratford Police Station, follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into the circumstances of a road traffic incident in East Ham in July 2020.

On July 15, 2020, PC Bowen was driving a marked police vehicle carrying nine officers when he collided with Peter Dawe, 83, at the junction of High Street North and Ron Leighton Way.

Mr Dawe fell to the ground after being struck by the exterior mirror of the police vehicle as he crossed a pedestrian crossing controlled by traffic lights.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital but sadly died in hospital more than two weeks later on August 3.

It was claimed that the officer could have done something with his radio before the collision or that the officer could have turned around to talk to his colleagues when he collided with Mr Dawe.

But after two days of deliberation, a jury found the officer not guilty of causing the death by reckless driving.

PC Bowen did not deny hitting Mr Dawe during the proceedings, but denied that he was driving carelessly.

Prosecutor Philip McGhee said PC Bowen started his shift at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the incident.

In his role as a street duty instructor, he drove with two other instructors and six new police officers in a Mercedes minibus.

At around 10.50am he accepted an incident from CAD to deliver a court warning to someone in Canning Town, the court heard.

As the incident was not an emergency, no blue lights or sirens were used by the officer as he walked to the call.

He stopped at a red light at the junction between High Street North and Ron Leighton Way, where there was a pedestrian crossing.

As the lights flashed amber before turning green, Mr Dawe began to cross the road, jurors heard.

He stopped halfway, watching the traffic coming from Ron Leighton Way to his left.

Once the lights turned green for traffic, Pc Bowen drove off and rounded the corner into Ron Leighton Way, where he collided with 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 Mr. Dawe.”

The victim received first aid before the London Ambulance Service took him to the Royal London Hospital.

A spokesperson for the IOPC Fund said:

“Our investigation was completed within six months and we provided a dossier of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who then made the decision to charge PC Bowen.

“We discovered he had a misconduct case to answer for breaching professional police standards of conduct. The MPS will arrange a disciplinary hearing in due course.

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