Berkshire

Aston McLean Williams death: Car manoeuvre 'a gross misjudgement'

Aston McLean from Reading Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Aston McLean Williams was chased by police who were responding to a burglary in Reading

A police officer's decision to use a car to hem-in a burglary suspect amounted to a "gross misjudgement", a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Aston McLean Williams, 28, died in Wokingham Road, Reading, after being hit by the vehicle in August 2014.

A force lawyer told a hearing being live-streamed to Ascot Police Station the manoeuvre was "just too risky".

Counsel for the driving officer, known only as "N", said Mr Williams's death had been a "tragic accident".

Father-of-two Mr Williams was one of two men suspected of trying to break into a bike shop in Eastern Avenue in the early hours of 6 August 2014 before officers gave chase.

He was seen being restrained with pepper spray by an officer known only as "P", shortly before being hit by a marked police car driven by "N", the hearing heard previously.

Both officers have been accused of gross misconduct over the incident.

Image caption Mr Williams died in August 2014 after being hit by a police car in Wokingham Road

Thames Valley Police's lawyer, Gerry Boyle, told the hearing earlier: "The fact there was an impact at all lends itself to the position that placing the vehicle in such close proximity was something that was just too risky.

"It goes beyond misjudgement, it was gross misjudgement."

Officer N's lawyer, Ben Brandon, said his client's use of the driving manoeuvre "was not a decision made in the red mist".

He added: "There's an understandable clamour for someone to be held to account when a tragic accident leads to loss of life."

The hearing, which is scheduled to conclude on Friday, continues.

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