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Duchess of Edinburgh's police escort could face criminal charges

Duchess of Edinburgh’s police escort motorcyclist could face criminal charges over collision which killed 81-year-old great-grandmother, IOPC says

  • The Duchess of Edinburgh sent ‘her Royal Highness’s deepest condolences’

A police motorcyclist could face criminal charges of the collision which culminated in the death of Helen Holland, 81, who passed away in May.

Ms Holland was struck at the junction of West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in Earl’s Court, west London, on the afternoon of May 10 by a vehicle last month while part of an escort for the Duchess of Edinburgh.

She suffered serious injuries and died two weeks later.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the constable has been told they are under criminal investigation for the offences of causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

They are also being investigated for potential gross misconduct, although it does not mean that charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

IOPC director Amanda Rowe said: ‘Our thoughts remain with Ms Holland’s family, friends and everyone affected by her death. 

This is a tragic incident and it is important that we carry out a thorough, independent investigation to establish the full circumstances, which will include the actions and decision making of the officer under investigation. 

Helen Holland (pictured), who was hit by a police motorcycle escorting Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, died yesterday after fighting for her life for two weeks

Ms Holland’s son Martin lashed out at the Met Police and claimed the force has not apologised after one of its riders allegedly hit the pensioner, causing fatal injuries (pictured is the scene of the collision on May 10)

The Duchess of Edinburgh said she was ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of a great-grandmother 

‘We have been in regular contact with Ms Holland’s family and we will keep them updated as our investigation progresses.

‘At the end of our investigation, we will decide whether to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision and whether the officer should face disciplinary proceedings.’

Investigators attended the scene and police body worn video footage has has been reviewed.

Witness accounts have also been taken following an appeal after the crash.

Following the crash, Ms Holland’s son Martin told the BBC she died after sustaining ‘multiple broken bones and massive internal injuries’.

After her death was announced, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: ‘The Duchess of Edinburgh is deeply saddened to hear that Helen Holland has passed away.

‘Her Royal Highness’s deepest condolences and sympathies go to all of Ms Holland’s family.’

Ms Holland, of Birchanger, Essex, had been in London visiting her older sister when she was hit by the motorbike and thrown 40ft along the busy road.

Witnesses at the time said she had stepped into the street to peer around black screens shielding a junction box that had been put up for the Coronation.

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