Katelyn Dawson

Attorney General written question – answered on 14th January 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Attorney General, if he will undertake a review of the decision by the CPS not to prosecute the driver responsible for the death of 15-year-old school girl Katelyn Dawson.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Solicitor-General

This is indeed a tragic case and I offer my sincere condolences to Katelyn Dawson’s family and friends. This case has been reviewed multiple times, culminating in an independent review by senior external Counsel which found that the case should not be prosecuted.

The CPS determined not to bring proceedings against the driver of the vehicle as he had passed out at the wheel due to an unforeseeable medical condition. Under the Victim’s Right to Review (VRR), Katelyn’s family asked the CPS to reconsider the decision. The Chief Crown Prosecutor personally reviewed the original decision, as the first stage of the VRR process. The Chief Crown Prosecutor upheld the original decision. The Appeals and Review Unit then reviewed the case. A further independent review was then carried out by a Specialist Prosecutor. Senior Counsel external to the CPS was also instructed due to the highly sensitive nature of the case and the unusual circumstances. This second entirely independent review also concluded that the case should not be prosecuted.

A clear and independent process is already in place to ensure victims’ rights are supported and protected and was fully operative in this case. It would therefore not be right for me to interfere with that independent process.

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