PC David Lynch hit cyclist 'at twice speed limit'

A police officer was driving "dangerously" and at more than double the speed limit when he hit a cyclist in east London, a court has heard.

PC David Lynch, 31, was driving a marked police vehicle at speeds of up to 68mph in a 30mph zone in Hackney, Southwark Crown Court was told.

His van struck Joseph Belmonte who was left in a hospital for two weeks.

PC Lynch, of Stotfold, Bedfordshire, admits careless driving but denies dangerous driving.

The officer had been on his way to an incident in the Old Street area with sirens on and lights flashing at the time of the accident, jurors have heard.

Hit tree

Eyewitnesses described seeing the vehicle "taking off" after hitting a humpback bridge, with all four of its wheels leaving the ground before it hit the cyclist.

Start Quote

The cyclist had no chance of avoiding impact with us”

End Quote PC Gary Thomas

Mr Belmonte was thrown on to the bonnet of the Mercedes Vito van before hitting a tree.

He has no recollection of the incident.

Prosecutor Sam Brown said: "Through that admission he accepts that his driving on this day in March fell below that of a competent and careful driver.

"The prosecution however allege that his conduct amounts to more than careless driving but that of dangerous driving.

"And what is alleged in this case is that the defendant's driving was to fall far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver and that it would be obvious to a careful and competent driver that driving in that way would be dangerous."

He added: "These allegations represent serious, avoidable and ultimately criminal failures by a police officer."

'No chance'

A statement from his passenger, PC Gary Thomas, was read out in court.

It said: "I believe we were approaching the bridge too quickly as I couldn't see over the bridge and whether there were any hazards on the other side.

"I was about to tell PC Lynch we were going too fast and needed to slow down but we were already going over the bridge.

"It caused me to panic as I thought something could be coming towards us."

He added: "The cyclist had no chance of avoiding impact with us as he was facing in a forward direction."

The trial continues.

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