A jury has concluded that a high speed pursuit by GMP probably contributed to the death of a 19-year-old boy.
On the evening of April 6, 2019 Thomas Patrick Connor, 19, known as Tull was the driver of his Vauxhall Astra van which was being chased by officers from GMP, who mistakenly believed it had been involved in a burglary.
The van ploughed into a railway bridge on Red Bank in Manchester City Centre killing Tull.
The family had raised concerns about whether the decision to continue with a chase was proportionate, particularly after the condition of the van had deteriorated significantly. Most notably with a deflated tyre and witnesses describing it driving on the wheel rim and seeing sparks and smoke coming from the vehicle.
A jury concluded after a three-day hearing at Manchester Coroners Court that Tull died as a result of a crash during a ‘high speed’ police chase with a deflated tyre, under the influence of alcohol.
The jury added the decision by police to initiate two separate chases was appropriate, but the decision to continue with the second chase when it was found a tyre on Mr Connor’s van was destroyed was not considered appropriate. The Jury foreman commenting “The speed was excessive with a tyre out.” The Jury concluded that the police pursuit caused or contributed to the death.
The Jury found the level of alcohol Tull had drunk and speed he was driving were significant factors in the crash, but also concluded the communication between the pursuing officers and the control room was deemed not appropriate.