Met Police officer, 33, weeps as he is spared jail for killing a 23-year-old charity worker on a zebra crossing in London as he chased a suspect at three times the speed limit with no blue lights or sirens
- PC Daniel Francis, 33, was chasing car which had thrown a firework at someone
- Officer did not have blue lights or sirens on during the suspect pursuit
- He hit Andrew MacIntyre Brown, 23, on zebra crossing, who later died of injury
A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been spared jail after knocking down and killing a pedestrian as he chased a suspect at three times the speed limit with no blue lights or sirens.
PC Daniel Francis, 33, crashed into ‘talented’ earth scientist Andrew MacIntyre Brown, 23, as he crossed the road.
Francis had already admitted causing the death of Mr Brown and was sentenced at the Old Bailey today to 12 months suspended for two years.
Prosecutor Michael Shaw said Francis had been working late with two colleagues in a marked incident response vehicle in west London when the crash happened early on November 1 2019.
He said: ‘Just after midnight on Whitton Road, Hounslow, the officers observed a firework being thrown from a dark-coloured vehicle towards a pedestrian.
‘The black Nissan made away at speed having thrown the firework at the member of public.’
The defendant’s Peugeot car accelerated after the Nissan and attempted to close the gap and identify the registration number, the court heard.
PC Daniel Francis (hooded), 33, was chasing car which had thrown a firework at someone
PC Francis hit Andrew MacIntyre Brown, 23, on zebra crossing, who later died of injury
The Nissan was going more than 40mph in the 20mph zone and Francis reached speeds of up to 61mph, the court heard.
The officer made a decision not to activate his blue lights and sirens as he followed the suspect vehicle.
Mr Brown, originally from Glasgow, and another man were on a marked illuminated pedestrian crossing, causing Francis to brake and swerve.
Mr Shaw said: ‘During the collision, Mr Brown had come into contact with the windscreen and he suffered a severe head injury.’
Francis, from Tongham in Surrey, carried out chest compressions at the scene before Mr Brown was taken to St George’s Hospital in south London where he died on November 5 2019.
The second casualty was not seriously injured and has since made a full recovery, the court was told.
In police interview, Francis said he did not want to alert the suspect vehicle by switching on his lights and siren and risk it speeding up.
The victim’s mother Isabel Brown, from Glasgow, said her son was a ‘unique combination of clever, kind and artistic’.
PC Francis sobbed in the dock during the sentencing when he learned he would be spared jail
Having gained a degree in earth science at the University of Glasgow, Mr Brown, who had a particular interest in volcanos, had hoping to start a new job at the Ministry of Defence in London when he was killed.
Speaking tearfully from behind a screen in court, she described receiving the devastating news he had been involved in a crash and spending days in hospital at his side before he died.
She said: ‘He had plans, he had a future and this has been taken away from him. He was 23 years of age. We will miss him forever. We will be heartbroken forever.’
In mitigation, Edmund Gritt issued an apology to the family of Mr Brown on behalf of Francis.
He said: ‘Pc Francis became a police officer in order to protect the public. On November 1 2019 he followed the Nissan in accordance with his duties as a police officer to protect the public.
‘That was what he was trying to achieve. But what he brought about in a matter of seconds was the complete opposite.’
Francis had been a full-time officer since 2015 and received a Borough Commander’s commendation in 2017.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Hilliard said: ‘Andrew had graduated in earth science … and his ambition was to work in some capacity helping with natural disasters.
‘He had his adult life ahead of him. It was a life of talent and promise in which he would I am sure have contributed much to others.
‘We are all the poorer for his passing.’
The senior judge said no sentence could ‘undo or put right’ what happened.
In addition to the suspended sentence, Francis was ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work, complete 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.
The court heard he would face conduct proceedings after the conclusion of the case.
Francis wiped away tears as he walked from the dock.
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