Police officer charged over road deaths of child actor and aunt in Penge

·2-min read
<p>Makayah McDermott and his aunt Rozanne Cooper died after a car ploughed into them in August 2016</p> (PA)

Makayah McDermott and his aunt Rozanne Cooper died after a car ploughed into them in August 2016

(PA)

A police officer has been charged over the deaths of a ten-year-old boy and his aunt after they were killed when a car ploughed into them in south London.

Child actor Makayah McDermott and his aunt, Rozanne Cooper, 34, suffered fatal injuries after Joshua Dobby, 23, lost control of a stolen car in a police chase in Penge.

Ms Cooper was taking her nephew, his older sisters and her daughter for ice creams at a local park on August 31 2016, when the black Ford Focus hit them.

Dobby, a drug addict, had been driving at three times the speed limit down one-way roads and jumped red lights while being chased by police before he crashed into the group, a court heard.

The young actor’s 13-year-old twin sisters, Niyah and Yahla, and Miss Cooper’s eight-year-old daughter Eva were injured in the crash.

PC Edward Welch, an officer from the Metropolitan Police, was on Tuesday charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and dangerous driving on August 31 2016.

A second PC who was with PC Welch was not charged after the legal test for a prosecution was not met for any alleged offences.

The incident was referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who in turn referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Following its investigation, a file was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which has taken the decision to charge the officer.

PC Welch will make a first appearance before magistrates on a date yet to be fixed.

Dobby was previously jailed for 12 years, with three years on extended licence for two counts of manslaughter, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and dangerous driving.

He told his victims’s family in court at the time: “I’m truly sorry for what I have done.”

Talented actor and footballer Makayah, who appeared in an Asda advert, had dreamed of playing for Chelsea FC.

A Met police statement said: “We are aware the Crown Prosecution Service has charged PC Edward Welch with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and dangerous driving.

“This follows an incident where Rozanne Cooper, 34, and Makayah McDermott, 10, died on 31 August 2016.”

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