An armed police officer who collided with a car as he sped towards the scene of the Streatham terror attack at speeds of up to 80mph was driving dangerously, a court heard.
PC Paul Fisher, 46, lost control of his unmarked BMW
The Met Police specialist firearms officer denies dangerous driving, causing “possibility of causing injury to any person or serious damage to property”.
London’s Southwark Crown Court heard how PC Fisher was on standby with another armed response vehicle during a surveillance operation against the 20-year-old Amman following his release from prison ten days earlier.
Jurors heard that Amman had been serving a prison sentence for terrorism-related offenses “and there were concerns about the ongoing risks Amman posed to the public.”
Prosecutor Ben Lloyd said: “At around 1.57pm.Broadcasts said the subject of the surveillance operation had a knife and started stabbing people on Streatham High Road.
“The defendant obviously wanted to get to the crime scene. This is completely understandable and it was his duty.
“However, the defendant did not come to the scene of the accident because about two minutes into his journey, his vehicle crashed into the rear of a Toyota Prius.
“As a result, he injured others and caused significant damage to his vehicle, other vehicles and property.”
“The defendant drove dangerously while driving to the crime scene.”
The court heard how PC Fisher drove too fast to be able to steer or hold on to the road properly, drove onto the wrong side of the road and overtook other motorists and entered junctions at excessive speeds.
Prosecutor Lloyd said: “Because of his driving he did not come to the scene.”
“Consequently, his driving had no intention of helping him, but rather had the opposite effect. His driving endangered a number of other people and property.”
Jurors heard Fisher was driving at up to 80 miles per hour shortly before the crash and was traveling at 46 miles per hour at the time of the collision.
Prosecutor Lloyd added: “It is important to note that being a police officer is not a defense – a police officer driving to the scene of a serious incident is not a defence.”
“The law is such that at the time of this incident Parliament had decided that there was a single law that applied to all road users.”
“There was no specific rule or defense for police officers or attending emergency calls for dangerous driving.
“It is right that police drivers are exempt from certain speed limits and allowed to drive through red lights in emergencies.”
“However, such exceptions do not authorize the police to engage in dangerous or unsafe driving.
“For this reason, the defendant’s statement that he was a police driver or authorized to exceed certain speed limits is not a defense.
“If the law is applied to the defendant’s driving, the prosecution says he is guilty of this offence.”
Collision expert Sgt Michael Seymour told jurors that Fisher’s vehicle was fitted with a data recorder which would record collisions and other events.
The police accident investigator told the court that there were no problems with the car driven by PC Fisher that caused the accident.
Sgt Seymour also confirmed that police officers have exemptions to speed limits when responding to emergencies.
PC Fisher fell ill in the dock yesterday morning and was taken to hospital.
Judge Tony Baumgartner told the jury: “You will have noticed that the defendant became ill during the course of the trial.”.
“He has gone to hospital and a series of tests are being carried out.”
The hearing was adjourned until this morning.