Officers cleared after boy injured during police pursuit

Officers from Suffolk Constabulary were not to blame for a child being left with “life-changing injuries” after being struck by a suspect’s car during a high-speed pursuit.

Mar 12, 2020
By Tony Thompson

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the suspect, Michael Neto, had been driving his Renault Clio in Ipswich in October 2018 when he was asked to stop by officers who wanted to speak to him about a number of offences.

However, he drove off and during the pursuit struck an 11-year-old boy, leaving him with life-changing injuries, including broken legs and facial injuries. Neto did not stop and continued driving, striking another vehicle and eventually crashing.

Neto attempted to flee on foot but was arrested. At this point he told officers that he thought he had hit a pedestrian during the pursuit.

Neto subsequently pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, possessing cannabis, failing to stop when required to and failing to stop after an accident. He was jailed for three months and disqualified from driving for five years.

Following its investigation, the IOPC said: “Based on the evidence available we found no indication that any person serving with the police may have behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings, or had committed a criminal offence.”

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