Police car was travelling at 34mph over the speed limit when it hit and killed a young woman as she waited for her boyfriend, a court heard
- PC Gary Wilkinson was driving at 64mph in a 30 mile-an-hour zone on August 13
- His police car struck Jade Mutua, 22, who died two days later in hospital
- Her inquest heard Ms Mutua suffered brain injuries and a broken back and neck
- An IOPC investigationg found PC Wilkinson was ‘driving properly’ at the time
A police car was travelling at 34mph over the speed limit when it hit and killed a young woman as she waited for her boyfriend, a court heard.
PC Gary Wilkinson was driving at 64mph in a 30mph 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, ruptured pelvis and broken leg when she was hit.
Paramedics managed to revive her but she died two days later at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington when the decision was made to switch off her life support machine.
A police investigation following the deadly collision has suggested PC Wilkinson was driving ‘properly’ said coroner Bernard Richmond, QC.
Jade Mutua, 22, was hit by a marked police car in August 2020 which was travelling at twice the speed limit
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 suggest that PC Watkinson was driving any other than properly,’ said Mr Richmond, referring to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report.
But the coroner said the PC should nonetheless have his own legal representation during the three day inquest.
He added: ‘The risk is that whatever the outcomes are, he has been involved in killing somebody.
‘However much the IOPC have come to a conclusion, the family may have questions which might become uncomfortable.
‘I’m going to continue in the view that he should be an Interested Person, unless he tells me that he has been properly advised by his Federation rep.’
Nick Stanage, for the family, called for a jury inquest due to police involvement in the collision.
He said: ‘We say, this being a police conduct death those factors on the face of it do give rise to public concern.
‘He was travelling at 64mph in a 30 mph area, causing death.
‘It may be that in the way the facts come out there may be an issue with regards to driving.’
The coroner agreed, saying there would be different ‘ramifications’ if PC Wilkinson was not a serving police officer.
He said: ‘If somebody is driving at 64 in a 30 then that calls for an explanation as to why they were driving at double the limit.
‘If somebody is driving at that limit who is not a police officer then there would certainly be ramifications.’
Ms Mutua’s father Jermaine Laxmidas also agreed to speak to the inquest 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, that’s sadly the last chapter in her story.
‘But I think it’s really important that we have a short time in the inquest to reflect on 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, fun loving 22-year-old who had her whole life ahead of her. All her family are devastated.’
A full inquest of three days will be heard before a jury at a date yet to be fixed.
Mr Laxmidas said: ‘My daughter was very bright. She was training to be a social worker because she wanted to help disadvantaged children.
‘She was beautiful. Her innocent life was tragically and violently ended because of a speeding police driver.
‘I still haven’t had a proper explanation about what happened. It has been a long time and I don’t have any 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 be able to see the evidence for myself shortly.’ He has set up a charity in Jade’s honour, The Jade Mutua Foundation Trust, which provides help to disadvantaged young people living in London to access education, training, and employment opportunities.
‘This is a tragic case involving a young woman who had amazing prospects of making a positive impact to society.
‘But her life was cut short. Her family need answers about what happened and those responsible must be held to account, if necessary in the criminal courts.
‘Too many people are dying a result of the actions of police officers. It has to stop.’