London

Joshua Dobby remanded over police pursuit deaths in south-east London

Joshua Dobby
Image caption Joshua Dobby appeared at Bromley Magistrates' Court earlier

A 23-year-old man has been remanded in custody following the deaths of a 10-year-old boy and his aunt who were a hit by a car being pursued by police.

Joshua Dobby appeared at Bromley Magistrates' Court earlier charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Makayah McDermott and Rozanne Cooper died after the car crashed in Penge, south-east London on Wednesday.

Three girls were also injured and remain in hospital.

Image copyright BBC/Oli Regan
Image caption Rosie Cooper was Makayah McDermott's aunt
Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Joshua Dobby was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 30 September

No application for bail was made during the short hearing and Mr Dobby was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 30 September

He was also charged with:

  • One count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving
  • Two counts of causing death by driving whilst unlicensed and uninsured
  • Two counts of aggravated vehicle taking

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The Met said the three injured girls - two aged 13 and one aged eight - were related to Makayah and his aunt, who was a 34-year-old hairdresser.

The car struck the group at about 14:05 BST on Lennard Road. It had been pursued by police from nearby Birkbeck Road in Beckenham.

One witness said the car was being followed by two police vehicles when the driver "lost control and ploughed into a family".

Image copyright PA
Image caption People leave flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash in Penge

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating.

Over the past 10 years, 252 members of the public have died following road traffic incidents involving the police in England and Wales, according to the IPCC.

In London, there were 498 crashes involving a pursuit by Met officers in 2015-16.

Image copyright PA

Friends and neighbours left floral tributes at the scene of the crash on Thursday.

Family friend Emma Cameron called the news "devastating" and said Ms Cooper was "a genuinely lovely girl".

"She never had a bad word to say about anybody. She was the kindest friendliest warmest person. It's just awful," she added.

Makayah had recently auditioned for a part in a television series.

His agent Sam Brown, managing director of Brown and Mills Entertainment, described Makayah as "an extremely talented young actor" and "joy to be around".

"We cannot express enough our sadness and our thoughts are with the family at this terrible time," she added.

A victim support fund for those injured in the crash on the Gofundme website had raised nearly £5,000 by Friday morning.

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