Family of Liam Albert will take dead son's case to High Court
The family of a teenager who died after a police chase are taking the Independent Police Complaints Commission to the High Court to force them to investigate alleged misconduct.
Liam Albert, 17, of Vectis Road, Mitcham, smashed into an oncoming car in Lammas Lane, Esher, in July 2009, after his stolen blue Mazda was pursued by the Metropolitan Police from Merton.
But his parents said claims by investigating Surrey Police officers that the driver of the pursing police car refused to hand over photos taken on his mobile phone had not been properly investigated.
The IPCC allowed the Metropolitan Police professional standards department a dispensation on July 30 to drop its internal investigation.
It agreed with the Met the complaint was “vexatious, oppressive and an abuse of process” and “repetitious”.
A letter to the family said the crash had already been dealt with by IPCC Operation Oldbury led by a Surrey traffic inspector, that found no misconduct.
But Liam’s parents said neither the coroner, nor Operation Oldbury addressed the misconduct claims that should still be investigated.
IPCC case worker Helen Ellul wrote: “I appreciate that your client may be disappointed with the decision and I fully understand the sensitivity surrounding the circumstances of their compliant.”
She said the case had been previously investigated and therefore was repetitious but the family said the undated Operation Oldbury report did not appear to have addressed the issues of a row between the Met and Surrey Police forces.
Liam’s mother, Sharla John, said: “I feel angry, cheated. They talk about closure, but it has not ended. That was my 17-year-old child. I can’t just let that go.
“The IPCC has let us down I believe. I had faith in it.
“It is supposed to be objective, but that hasn’t happened.”
Andre Clovis, of Tuckers solicitors, said: “In this case we have officers taking evidence away from the crash scene that may be relevant. It goes directly to the officers’ credibility.”
One letter from the Metropolitan Police professional standards said the family could not make a complaint about excessive speed because “they were not subject to this alleged risk, did not witness it and were not adversely affected by it.”
Mr Clovis wrote back: “In case it has passed the Metropolitan Police Service by, they were adversely affected. On July 15, 2010, Liam Albert [their son] died.”
The IPCC declined to comment.