Scots cop in dangerous driving probe after teen boy knocked off bike during ‘chase’ on cycle path

A Scots school boy who was knocked off his bike during a police chase claims he heard the officer say ‘it’s not him’ after being asked to remove his snood.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was giving evidence during the trial against Constable Kayleigh Smith, who allegedly collided with the boy on a cycle path.

The youth, who was 15 at the time, was riding home from Glenrothes to Markinch on March 15, 2020, when he became aware of a police car following him.

He claimed he felt “too scared to stop” due to the “aggressive” driving by the 33-year-old officer, who then allegedly “rammed him from behind” near Auchmuty High School.

The teen cyclist was giving evidence at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court

The 17-year-old suffered injuries to his knees and side, which did not require hospital treatment, after being “sent flying” through the air after the collision.

Constable Simpson faces a dangerous driving charge at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court but has pleaded not guilty.

Giving evidence on Thursday, the youth told the court that he was aware that the car had its lights and sirens going but he didn’t feel safe to stop.

He said: “I can’t remember when I saw the police car lights going on. But it gave me a fright so I cycled faster. I was on the cycle path when I realized it was right behind me. I was worried about what was going on, it wasn’t normal driving.

“It was inches away from me. I honestly felt like I nearly died. I had so much adrenaline. I didn’t feel safe to stop. It would be dangerous because she was driving so close to me.

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“I didn’t feel like I had space to manoeuvre or slow down, it was that close. I’m not trying to escape, I’m trying to get home. As I got onto the path, I swear I could hear it revving, going forwards and backwards.

“Then I felt it rammed me from behind and I went flying. The next thing I remember is standing up and feeling like a deer looking into the headlights of a car.

“My knees were badly cut, I had road rash and a deep cut on my side. I felt all the pain at once – it was horrible.

“The officer told me to take down my snood, which I did, and it was like she muttered something like she got the wrong person or ‘it’s not him’.

“After that she told me to put my bike in the car and took me home.”

The court was told how the boy was wearing a hat, a snood pulled up to his eyes and had his jacket hood up at the time of the collision.

Asked how the incident had affected him, the teenager said: “I just don’t like to think about it. “It’s the fear that’s really off putting. I don’t think anyone can understand how I felt.

“I keep getting asked why I didn’t stop. But if anyone else felt like you were cycling for your life, you would understand why I never stopped. It was terrifying.”

The teenager told the court he was aware of the police car following him for around a mile, with the whole incident lasting between five to ten minutes.

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Pamela Rodgers, defending, asked the boy if he was aware of a second marked car that was trying to get his attention and whether it was right to stop for the police.

But he said that while he was aware that the police were following him, he felt that the police were using “intimidation” and “fear tactics” to scare him.

He was then asked why he used the word “nudge” to describe the contact the police motor had made with his back tire in his initial statement rather than the description he gave in court.

She also questioned why he initially told another officer that he “fell off” the bike and he “wasn’t really bothered” by the incident.

He explained the differences in his police statements as being a result of his young age at the time and that he “wasn’t always the brightest”.

He added: “I can see the mistakes in my language. Nudge should have been rammed. It shouldn’t have been following me because I did nothing wrong.”

The boy said he didn’t remember allegedly telling the officer that he had been smoking cannabis and that he didn’t stop because he didn’t want to get into trouble.

He accepted that photographs of the bicycle he was riding appeared to show no damage to the back tire and that he was able to wheel it over to the police car.

Constable Simpson is accused of driving a police motor dangerously by traveling on a cycle path in pursuit of the boy and causing him injury and damage to the pedal bike.

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She wept in the dock after hearing the length of time she and other witnesses would have to wait for the trial to resume in August.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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