Nottingham

Rebecca Smith's bid for £2m after police crash

A Nottingham woman who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a police car is challenging a decision which denied her £2m in compensation.

Rebecca Ann Smith, now 23, was struck by the car as she crossed Canal Street during a night out with friends on 25 February 2005.

A hearing at Nottingham County Court in January originally found she was 75% responsible for what happened.

She is now challenging the decision at the Court of Appeal.

Her legal team argued that the county court judge was wrong to find that she was mostly responsibility for the accident.

'Worse for drink'

John Leighton-Williams QC said the crash happened because both Miss Smith and the police car took conflicting evasive action.

"She was already in the road to be seen by the officer. Her sudden movement was made to get out of the way," he said.

"If she is to be blamed for that, so is the officer, for suddenly swerving."

Mr Leighton-Williams also said the judge "didn't keep an open mind" about where the larger portion of blame lay and made findings that were "against the weight of the evidence".

He is challenging the judge's conclusion that Rebecca was "the worse for drink" at the time and said there was evidence to the contrary from a number of witnesses.

The court heard she was hit by a fast-moving police car driven by a PC, who was on his way to an emergency outside the MFI store on Castle Boulevard with a colleague.

Appeal Court judge, Lord Justice Ward, sitting with Lord Justice Lloyd and Lord Justice Kitchin, said their decision would be given on the case at a date to be fixed.

Nottinghamshire Police said it could not comment until the legal process was completed.

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