Berkshire

Aston McLean Williams death: Police officers cleared of misconduct

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

Two police officers accused of gross misconduct over the death of a burglary suspect hit by a marked car have been cleared of gross misconduct.

Aston McLean Williams, 28, died in Wokingham Road, Reading, after he was restrained with pepper spray and struck by an armed response vehicle.

A disciplinary panel ruled the PC driving could not have anticipated Mr Williams' change in direction.

The PC who used the spray did not see the car heading towards them, it added.

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

A disciplinary hearing was told an officer used pepper spray on Mr Williams moments before another hit him with his car as he tried to use it as a "mobile barrier".

Mr Williams died at the scene.

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

Both officers faced gross misconduct charges from the Independent Police Complaints Commission after the Crown Prosecution Service decided there would be no criminal prosecution.

Lawyers for the pair had argued throughout the five-day hearing that Mr Williams' death had been a "tragic accident".

After the hearing, Dep Ch Con John Campbell, of Thames Valley Police, said: "Whilst the panel found the case against the officers not proven, we will consider any learning which has resulted to ensure we offer the best possible service to the communities we serve.

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the deceased man Aston McLean Williams and everyone who has been affected by this tragic event."

Mr Williams' family declined to comment following the conclusion of the hearing, which was live-streamed to Ascot Police Station.

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