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Henry Hicks police misconduct hearing: Four police officers acquitted over crash that killed Islington teenager

PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:59 20 October 2017

A picture of Henry Hicks at a shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

A picture of Henry Hicks at a shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

Archant

Four police officers who followed Henry Hicks before his fatal crash have been acquitted in a gross misconduct hearing.

A picture of Henry Hicks at a shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson A picture of Henry Hicks at a shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

Four police officers who followed Henry Hicks before his fatal crash have been acquitted in a gross misconduct hearing.

The officers, who have been granted anonymity, were accused of engaging in a police pursuit – without permission – of Mr Hicks’s moped in Caledonian Road in December 2014.

Seconds later, Mr Hicks, 18, crashed in Wheelwright Street and died.

At the conclusion of the misconduct hearing in the Empress State Building in Earl’s Court this afternoon, panel chair Eileen Herlihy said: “It is not proven against any of the officers.

Campaigners hold up Justice for Henry Hicks signs in a protest outside Islington Police Station in 2015. Picture: Dieter Perry Campaigners hold up Justice for Henry Hicks signs in a protest outside Islington Police Station in 2015. Picture: Dieter Perry

“We acknowledge this has been a huge tragedy for the Hicks family.”

The Hicks family left the building as soon as the verdict was given, not waiting to hear Ms Herlihy’s full reasoning.

Ruling out the possibility that the incident amounted to a police pursuit, she said: “The manner of Mr Hicks’s driving in York Way [where the hearing heard officers first noticed suspicious behaviour] was not significantly different than that in Caledonian Road.

“If Mr Hicks was being pursued, he could have turned into side streets where a car wouldn’t have been able to follow [as opposed to Wheelwright Street]. He had a number of opportunities but failed to do so.

The Henry Hicks shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Dieter Perry The Henry Hicks shrine near to the scene of his death in Wheelwright Street, off Caledonian Road. Picture: Dieter Perry

“There was always a significant distance between the moped and car one. This increased along Caledonian Road. When turning into Wheelwright Street, the distance was substantial: 10 seconds between them.

“All the evidence we have before us shows that the two cars were not engaged in a pursuit.”

Of inconsistencies in the four officers’ accounts, she added: “This was a fast moving, dynamic situation. Accounts [immediately after the crash] may not always be reliable and consistent and we remind ourselves this incident took place in a very narrow time frame.

“They were met with an unexpected, horrific situation and the officers were involved in lifesaving attempts for some time. There had been no opportunity to prepare themselves. It’s inherently unfair to give weight to these accounts.”

The Gazette has approached the Met for information on the four officers’ employment status in light of today’s decision.

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4 comments

  • Well said Lanners

    Report this comment

    Don

    Monday, October 23, 2017

  • I just want to echo the reply here that it wasn't proved that Henry was up to no good when the police gave chase on that fateful night. He was victimised by the police. Constant stop and searches with no convictions ever. Please can people check their info first before commenting as Henry's family have had enough to put up with nasty messages. However, I do agree that there has to be something done to those who do rob and terrorise the public on their mopeds.

    Report this comment

    Lanners

    Monday, October 23, 2017

  • He never stole phones from anyone and his scooter was bought for him by his grandmother. Get your facts right before posting. He was however targetedharassed by some police officers for approx 3 years prior to this incident, and yet he never had a charge against him. As regards others who are gang members and their victims, I agree with you.

    Report this comment

    Don

    Monday, October 23, 2017

  • I have never understood the reasoning behind making heroes out of gang members. Nobody is sending condolences to the victims who had their mobile phones stolen by him, or the moped he was riding which was stolen from another of his and his gangs victims. It is repulsive that this is the way of society today, where the criminal gangs are victims and the real victims of gang members crimes were forgotten.

    Report this comment

    Regina Falange

    Sunday, October 22, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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