Police officer jailed for fatal car crash
Nadeem Patel’s patrol car, with its siren activated, struck a pedestrian killing her at the scene in London in June 2021
(Representational image: iStock)
A police officer who pleaded guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of a woman was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for more than four years by a court.
Police Constable (PC) Nadeem Patel, 28, was behind the wheel of a marked police patrol car responding to an emergency 999 call when it hit 25-year-old Shante Daniel-Folkes in June 2021. His injuries proved immediately fatal.
Fellow officer PC Gary Thomson, 31, who was driving a police car ahead of Patel’s vehicle, was convicted of careless driving by a jury at the Old Bailey in London following a four-day trial on Monday (7).
The court heard that Daniel-Folkes was walking across the road around 11:20 pm close to a pedestrian crossing in Brixton, south London, when Thomson’s vehicle passed her with its emergency lights and siren activated.
Around three to four seconds later, Daniel-Folkes continued to cross and was struck by Patel’s vehicle. He had earlier switched off his front emergency lights to avoid affecting Thomson’s vision in the lead vehicle, but did have his siren activated.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Patel reached a peak speed of 83.9 mph on Stockwell Road just 115 metres from the car’s final stopping point.
The vehicle was travelling around 55mph at the time of the collision after Patel braked for two seconds from a speed of more than 81mph.
The car being driven by Thomson also passed Daniel-Folkes at speeds between 70-79mph, and the prosecution was able to prove that he also drove at an excessive speed for a significant distance.
At the end of the trial this week, Thomson was convicted of careless driving, but acquitted of dangerous driving and fined £500 and awarded five penalty points on his driving licence. Patel is banned from driving for 54 months starting February this year.
The CPS said both officers, although not bound by the 30mph speed limit in force in the area while responding to an emergency call, were driving at motorway speeds in a built-up urban area, with a number of potential hazards in the vicinity.
“Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Shante Daniel-Folkes following this avoidable tragedy,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division.
“PC Patel admitted causing the death of Ms Daniel-Folkes by driving dangerously and I hope his sentence, along with today’s verdict for PC Thomson, offers some comfort to her family at this extremely difficult time,” she said.