POLICE have this morning been investigating the scene of last year's crash in Stratford-upon-Avon that injured seven people outside Costa.
Traffic was backed up in town while officers analysed the trajectory of the car that came over Bridge Street roundabout and ploughed into coffee-drinkers sitting outside on 23rd April.
The investigators then shut off High Street shortly before midday to take more road readings.
This morning's activity came after Warwickshire's police commissioner, Ron Ball, demanded to know why the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is taking so long to investigate details of the crash that resulted in no prosecution.
It is now 14 weeks since Mr Ball asked for the case to be looked at again after police said there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute following a motoring incident in which several people were injured.
This week Mr Ball told the Herald he was “disappointed” that the review was still ongoing, given that he had asked for it to take place as a matter of urgency, and he would be writing to the CPS to demand an explanation for the length of time it was taking to deal with it.
The incident occurred on Monday 23rd April last year when a car driven by local magistrate Alan Marks MBE ploughed on to the pavement by the Costa Coffee shop at the top of Bridge Street.
Several people—including Mr Marks himself—were taken to hospital. One of the victims, Heather Coleau from Chipping Campden, received a brain injury and is still receiving treatment.
Warwickshire Police revealed in the final week of November last year that after an investigation lasting several months there would be no prosecution on grounds “insufficient evidence.”
Last year's crash in the centre of town injured seven people
The announcement coincided with Mr Ball’s first week in office as police and crime commissioner and he immediately called for a review of the case because of the public interest it had generated.
A number of victims of the crash voiced disbelief at the decision not to prosecute and one of them said: “It stinks!” Mr Ball’s request for a review was passed to the CPS. A month ago—ten weeks into the review—the Herald asked the CPS how its inquiries were proceeding.
A spokesman said at that time that the CPS was commissioning experts to examine aspects of the case. When all the expert reports had been received there would be a meeting with the police and a decision would be made.
This week the Herald again asked the CPS how its review was progressing. A spokesman for West Midlands CPS said: “We have asked the police to undertake further detailed technical inquiries.
These inquiries are still ongoing and the delay has been caused by the requirement of these inquiries—namely that a section of road needs to be closed off to check all the information. Once we have all this information, we will then be in a position to decide whether to proceed with a prosecution or not.”
When told by the Herald what the CPS had said, Mr Ball replied: “When I asked for this decision to be reviewed in November I asked for it to be reviewed ‘as a matter of urgency.
That was agreed. To my disappointment we are still in the position, three-and-a-half months later and approaching a year after the initial incident,awaiting a decision. I have no view on whether or not a prosecution is appropriate in this case. I most certainly do have a view on whether or not it is appropriate to keep all concerned (and I include the driver) hanging on for such a long time for a decision.”
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