Police officers who 'refused to hand over evidence' after teenager's fatal crash could face criminal charges
A criminal investigation has been launched into alleged wrongdoing by police officers after the fatal crash of a teenager in Esher nearly five years ago.
Liam Albert, 17, died after the stolen blue Mazda he was driving hit an oncoming vehicle in Lammas Lane, Esher, in the early hours of July 8, 2009.
The crash followed a high-speed police chase down the A3 from Merton.
The criminal allegations are understood to include claims made public by this newspaper in December 2011, that Metropolitan Police officers refused to hand over potential evidence to crash investigators from Surrey Police, despite being warned it was potentially perverting the course of justice.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said this week its new investigation will interview three police officers under criminal caution.
They will also be served with notices they are under investigation for possible gross misconduct.
Three civilian police staff who were working in the control room on the night of the crash will also be interviewed over possible gross misconduct.
An inquest jury looking at the moments up to the crash ruled that, although the death was accidental, the Met made a material contribution to his death by not halting the chase earlier.
Documents submitted to the inquest in December 2011, but not called by the coroner, revealed that after the crash several Surrey Police officers tried to retrieve pursuit driver PC Paul Rogers mobile phone to see pictures he had taken of the crash.
But they were repeatedly refused by PC Rogers and Met Detective Inspector Mandy Chamberlain, despite being warned the move could be seen as perverting the course of justice, Surrey Police sworn evidence statements say.
The news of a criminal investigation is a victory for Mr Albert’s family Sharla John and Delroy Albert, of Vectis Road, Mitcham, who complained to the IPCC at the time of the death and again after the inquest conclusions.
They were bitterly disappointed when the IPCC allowed the Metropolitan Police professional standards department a dispensation on July 30, 2012, to drop its internal investigation, prompting the family to threaten a judicial review.