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Henry Hicks died after being pursued by police, jury rules

Henry Hicks
Image caption Henry Hicks died after his moped collided with another vehicle on Wheelright Street in Islington

The "heartbroken" family of a teenager who died when his moped crashed into a minicab have welcomed a ruling which said he was being pursued by police.

Jurors at St Pancras Coroner's court ruled Henry Hicks was trying to get away from officers who were pursuing him in unmarked cars.

A police driver previously denied he had been in pursuit of the 18-year-old.

Members of Mr Hicks' family burst into tears as the narrative verdict was read out at an inquest into his death.

Mr Hicks' speeding and swerving were contributing factors to the crash on Wheelwright Street, Islington, the jury ruled.

The carpenter died from blunt force trauma to the head in December 2014.

Image copyright Helen Williams/PA Wire
Image caption Henry Hicks' father David, sister Claudia and mother Dione outside St Pancras Coroner's Court

A police driver, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the inquest he had been following the teenager with the intention of pulling him over as he suspected he had been dealing in drugs.

The jury ruled Mr Hicks was aware "that plain clothes officers were in unmarked vehicles driving at whatever distance behind him and wanted him to stop".

"This was a police pursuit as defined by the Metropolitan Police Service standard operating procedure."

'Completely heartbroken'

Mr Hicks, who had been described in court by his older sister Claudia as "our family's glue", was found with seven bags of skunk cannabis and multiple phones.

Senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell said she would send a prevention of death report so that lessons may be learned.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has called for four Islington police officers to face gross misconduct hearings in relation to the death.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Four police officers will face gross misconduct charges over the death

After the hearing Mr Hicks's family - including his father David, 54, mother Dione, 52, and sister Claudia, 23 - said they welcomed the ruling.

In a statement, they said: "Henry was 18 when he died and, as the police themselves said in the course of this inquest, he was a nice boy, polite, well brought up and from a good family.

"We are completely heartbroken and miss him every day. Today confirms what we always believed had happened on that night."

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