Socialist Worker

Henry Hicks died in police chase, jury rules

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2510

A march demanded justice for Henry Hicks last year

A march demanded justice for Henry Hicks last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

North London teenager Henry Hicks knew he was being chased by police before he was killed in a crash, a jury has decided today, Tuesday.

Henry Hicks died in December 2014 after crashing his moped while being chased by police in two unmarked cars.

Police officers chased Henry at more than twice the speed limit on residential streets with their lights and sirens on.

Despite this, they insisted during the inquest that Henry did not know they were chasing him and they were therefore not in formal police pursuit.

One officer, only known as officer A, said this meant he had not been obliged to get permission to pursue Henry. He told the court during the inquest, “I know in my heart he hadn’t seen me”.

His testimony contradicted his first account given at the scene, which was that Henry had ridden off “as soon as I put my blue lights on”.

But the jury today unanimously agreed that Henry did know he was being followed, that the police were in pursuit, and that Henry’s attempt to avoid the police contributed to his death.

The decision was revealed in a “narrative verdict” which records the circumstances of the death but does not apportion guilt.

The inquest had also heard that police stopped and searched Henry 89 times in the three years before his death but he was never charged.

Speaking after the verdict Henry’s sister Claudia said, “Henry was 18 when he died and as the police themselves said in the course of this inquest, he was a nice boy, polite, well brought up and from a good family.

“We are completely heartbroken and miss him every day. We will always miss him and today confirms what we always believed had happened on that night.

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