Cop fatally injured elderly pedestrian at crossing, court told

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Picture: Archant.

Pc Daniel Bowen is on trial accused of causing the death of an elderly pensioner by careless driving - Credit: Archant

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, of Hornchurch, was behind the wheel of a police carrier which collided with 83-year-old Peter Dawe on a crossing in Ron Leighton Way, East Ham on July 15, 2020.

Bowen is on trial at Aldersgate House Nightingale Court at the Barbican, accused of causing Mr Dawe’s death by careless driving.

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, jurors were told.

Mr Dawe was taken to hospital, where he died on August 3 2020.

Opening the case, prosecutor Philip McGhee said Bowen had begun his shift at 10am at Stratford police station.

In his role as street duties instructor, he was driving with two other instructors and six new police officers in a Mercedes minibus carrier.

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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.

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

Jurors heard that Mr Dawe started to walk across the road as the lights were about to turn green.

He paused part way along, looking at the traffic that was coming from Ron Leighton Way to his left, jurors were told.

The lights having changed, the defendant 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 Mr Dawe.”

The victim was given first aid before he was taken to hospital.

He suffered rib and shoulder fractures, and lung and head injuries.

The court heard that Bowen did not deny hitting Mr Dawe, but disputes 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 denies causing death by careless driving.

The trial continues.