Judicial Review succeeds in challenge to decision not to prosecute police officer

July 18, 2019

Andre Clovis and Frances Frost, Consultants at Tuckers Solicitors, represented the family of Lewis Johnson in a judicial review relating to the decision not to prosecute a police officer who caused Lewis’ death whilst pursuing Lewis in his police car.

On the 9 February 2016, Lewis Johnson died when his moped hit a street light near Clapton Common whilst he was being pursued by police vehicles. The police officer driving the lead pursuit vehicle was not trained to pursue motorcycles or mopeds nor was he authorised to do so on this occasion.

The matter was considered by the CPS and in February 2018 it was decided not to charge the officer with causing death by dangerous driving or any other criminal offence. Having met with the CPS, a review of the decision under the Victims’ Right of Review scheme was sought and in October 2018, following such a review, the CPS once again declined to prosecute. Lewis’s mother sought a judicial review of that decision and, following the grant of permission, the Administrative Court, in a judgment handed down this month, quashed the CPS decision not to prosecute the officer on the basis that the reviewing lawyer had failed to properly set out the basis for his decision and/or had failed to consider, properly or at all, all relevant material. The CPS now has to reconsider its decision in light of the judgment.

This decision, comes against a background of disquiet concerning appropriate tactics in these pursuits, the risks inherent in such pursuits and failures to comply with police guidance.

Andre Clovis & Frances Frost of Tuckers Solicitors represent Lewis’s mother.

Iain Daniels of Ely Place Chambers & Sean Horstead of Garden Court Chambers of Counsel are instructed