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Police not to blame for death of cyclist killed by fleeing burglar during pursuit

Gary Lynch reversed into Arthur Bourlet while trying to evade officers

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has concluded that Northamptonshire Police officers were not to blame for the death of cyclist killed by a burglar during a high speed chase.

Nine police cars were involved in the pursuit of Gary Lynch, 55, when he hit 75-year-old Arthur Bourlet in Station Road, Isham, on April 11.

Lynch had carried out two burglaries that morning and attempted another. He was driving a Mitsubishi Shogun that was flagged as stolen and picked up by automatic number plate recognition cameras which alerted police.

Lynch drove at speeds of up to 80mph and rammed several police cars as he tried to escape.

Cornered, he reversed at speed and hit Bourlet, who had been pushing his bike up the hill on Station Road. Bourlet died three weeks later.

Lynch was stopped and arrested shortly afterwards after a police BMW struck the driver's side. In September, he was sentenced to 11 years for causing death by dangerous driving and 18 months for the two burglaries, with the sentences running consecutively. He was also banned from driving for five years. 

The BBC reports that the IOPC this week said it was "of the opinion that there was no evidence that the officers could reasonably have been expected to foresee the presence of the cyclist".

It said no officer had behaved in way that should result in disciplinary proceedings and none had committed a criminal office.

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