Sunday, April 05, 2009

Girl 'hit by police car at 90mph'

A Newcastle schoolgirl was hit by a police car which had accelerated to more than 90mph only seconds before, a court has heard.

Hayley Adamson, 16, was struck by the marked vehicle and killed instantly as she crossed Denton Road in the Scotswood area of the city in May 2008.

Pc John Dougal, 41, has denied causing death by dangerous driving.

Newcastle Crown Court was told the car's blue lights or siren had not been activated.

Mr Dougal was on patrol in the 30mph zone when his vehicle's automatic number plate recognition system alerted him to a passing car - indicating it could potentially be linked to a crime.

He was attempting to catch up with the car when Hayley, of Cedar Road, Fenham, stepped into the road ahead of him.

He braked and swerved but was unable to avoid hitting her.

Her family wept as the jury were shown CCTV footage of the incident.

Prosecutor Andrew Dallas described Pc Dougal's driving as a "grossly disproportionate" response to the situation.

"Driving at such an extreme speed at night in a residential area was highly dangerous," he said.

"It was even more dangerous to do so without using any of the specialist warning devices available to him.

"The speed and lack of warning by the driver not only represented dangerous driving but were also in any fair view significant causes of Hayley's tragic death that night."

The trial continues.

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