A police car was running over the speed limit at 34 mph when it hit and killed a young woman while waiting for her boyfriend, a court heard.
PC Gary Wilkinson was driving at 64 mph in a 30 mph zone on Warwick Road, Kensington, when he crashed into Jade Mutua, 22, on August 13 last year.
The social studies student suffered a brain injury, a broken back, neck, pelvic fracture and broken leg when she was hit.
Paramedics managed to bring her back to life, but she died two days later at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, when the decision was made to shut down her life-support machine.
A police investigation after the fatal collision has suggested that PC Wilkinson was driving “properly,” said Coroner Bernard Richmond, QC.
22-year-old Jade Mutua was hit by a marked police car driving twice as fast in August 2020
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found that PC Gary Wilkinson was driving properly at the time of the incident
“There is nothing to indicate that PC Watkinson was driving in any other way than properly,” said Mr. Richmond, referring to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report.
But the coroner said the PC should nevertheless have its own legal representation during the three-day inquest.
He added: ‘The risk is that whatever the outcome, he has been involved in killing someone.
As much as the IOPC has come to a conclusion, the family may have questions that may become uncomfortable.
“I continue to believe that he should be an interested person unless he tells me he has been properly advised by his Federation representative.”
Nick Stanage, on behalf of the family, called for a jury investigation over police involvement in the collision.
He said: ‘We say that since this is a death of the police, those factors at first glance give rise to public concern.
He was traveling at 104 km / h in an area of 50 km / h, causing death.
“It may be that the way the facts emerge could be a problem with regard to driving.”
The coroner agreed, saying there would be several “ consequences ” if Police Officer Wilkinson were not on duty.
He said, “If someone drives a 30 at 64, it asks for an explanation of why they were driving on the double limit.
“If someone drives at that limit who is not a police officer, there would certainly be consequences.”
Ms. Mutua’s father, Jermaine Laxmidas, also agreed to speak about his daughter’s life at the request of the coroner.
Mr Richmond said: “Jade’s life is not defined by the way she died, unfortunately that is the last chapter in her story.
‘But I think it is very important that during the judicial investigation we have little time to think about the person we are talking about.
“Absolutely, I would love that,” said Mr. Laxmidas.
The victim’s mother, Mina Agyepong, said after her death: “She was a beautiful, happy 22-year-old who had her whole life ahead of her. Her whole family is devastated. ‘
A full three-day judicial investigation will be heard before a jury at a date yet to be determined.
Mr. Laxmidas said, “My daughter was very smart. She trained as a social worker because she wanted to help underprivileged children.
She was beautiful. Her innocent life ended tragically and violently because of a speeding police driver.
‘I still haven’t received a good explanation of what happened. It has been a long time and I have no answers.
‘I believe facts about what happened that night are being hidden. I welcome the coroner’s decision to require the IOPC to provide him with the evidence.
“I hope to see the evidence for myself soon.” In honor of Jade, he has established a charity, The Jade Mutua Foundation Trust, which provides assistance to underprivileged youth living in London to access education, training and employment.
This is a tragic case involving a young woman who had great prospects for making a positive impact on society.
But her life was cut short. Her family needs answers about what happened and those responsible must be held accountable, if necessary to a criminal court.
‘Too many people are dying as a result of the actions of police officers. It has to stop. ‘