Berkshire

Aston McLean Williams death: Father was 'pepper-sprayed'

Aston McLean from Reading Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Aston McLean Williams was chased by police who were responding to a burglary in Reading

A man crushed to death by a police car during a pursuit had been doused with incapacitating spray, an inquest heard.

Aston McLean Williams, 27, died when he became trapped under a police armed response vehicle which had been called to reports of a burglary in Reading.

The two officers involved in the crash in August 2014 have been given anonymity for the jury-led inquest.

Reading Coroner's Court heard one was pursuing the victim on foot when the other ran over him in a car.

Senior coroner Heidi Connor said a member of the public had alerted police to two men on the roof of a bicycle shop in Wokingham Road in the early hours of 6 August.

When the officers - referred to as PC P and PC N - arrived, Mr McLean Williams fled, running along the pavement before moving into the carriageway, she told the jury.

She said PC P chased and used his police issue Captor spray, similar to pepper spray, on Mr McLean Williams.

Moments later, PC N drove a marked police Volvo from a side street into Wokingham Road, making contact with the father of two before coming to a stop on top of him, Ms Connor said.

Mr McLean Williams died at the scene.

Image caption Mr McLean Williams died in August 2014 after being hit by a police car in Wokingham Road

The court was shown CCTV of the moment the police vehicle struck Mr McLean Williams shortly before 02:00 BST.

PC Christopher Donnelly, another officer at the scene, said he thought the driver was "looking to get ahead of Aston with a view to challenge".

Describing the crash he said: "There were other officers around the back of the car and I could see Aston underneath."

In a statement read in court, the victim's mother, Janet Williams, described him as having a "zest for live".

Mr McLean William's former partner Michelle Carty described him in another statement as a "good dad" and said their son and daughter "love and miss him immensely".

The inquest continues.

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