Dundee father tells trial how daughter, 7, was run down by ‘police car’

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A FATHER has told a court how he heard his seven-year-old daughter crying as he was thrown into the air after the pair were hit by a car allegedly being driven by a police officer.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, said that he had been walking with the child to a Chinese takeaway in Dundee’s Douglas area when they were struck.

He told the trial of Tayside Police Constable Gary Johnston yesterday that he looked both ways as they stepped into the city’s Douglas Road, but the pair were hit by a car they “did not see or hear”.

Both the man and the girl were left seriously injured.

The 57-year-old told Dundee Sheriff Court: “I felt myself being thrown up into the air by the car, then falling back on to the road.

“The next thing I remember is waking up in Ninewells Hospital.

“The car came out of nowhere. I always look when I cross the road – I probably looked two or three times.

“There was nothing coming. I didn’t see anything, not even a light.

“We just crossed and the next thing: wallop.

“We had gone out to get a Chinese. My wee girl was only seven but she loves a curry and I said I’d take her.

“I heard her crying when we were hit by the car. I didn’t know until I woke up what had happened to her.

“It wasn’t until the next day they told me she was alive and was upstairs playing with some toys in the hospital.

“I couldn’t tell you where the car came from. I didn’t see it and didn’t even hear it before it hit me. I ended up in hospital for two weeks because of my injuries.”

Karen Boyle, 53, who lives near the accident scene, told the court she had passed the man and his daughter seconds before the crash.

She said: “I was walking home from my mum’s house when I passed them. A few seconds after, I heard a bang and I heard the girl crying.

“The police and ambulance were there really quickly – far quicker than I thought they would be.

“I was pleased when I heard the girl crying because at least I knew it wasn’t more serious.”

Johnston, 27, whose address was given as Tayside Police headquarters, West Bell Street, Dundee, denies a charge of careless driving.

It is alleged he caused the Ford Focus police car to collide with a man and his seven-year-old daughter on 13 November, 2011, causing both severe injury.

The trial, before Sheriff Walter Mercer, continues.