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Forest Gate hit-and-run victims call police 'incompetent' as search for justice goes on

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 October 2016

Bernard Dowling and Chris Grubb stand on Upton Lane, at the spot where they were both injured in a hit and run seven months ago.

Bernard Dowling and Chris Grubb stand on Upton Lane, at the spot where they were both injured in a hit and run seven months ago.

Vickie Flores

Two hit-and-run victims who suffered life-changing injuries have accused police of "fobbing" them off.

Bernard Dowling, 53, was struck by a dark BMW while walking across Upton Lane, Forest Gate, with his friend Chris Grubb, 50.

Former soldier and builder Mr Grubb suffered a broken arm, wrist and fingers and master carpenter Mr Dowling had a heart attack which “nearly killed” him after being left in the road on March 27 at 10.32pm.

Both men are now unable to work or provide for themselves after the crash, which they said is being made worse by a lack of police action.

“The police have left the victims to do the work while they sit about and do nothing,” father-of-three Mr Dowling, who claimed he needed an injection of adrenaline to bring him back to life as he lay in the road, said.

The moment the car hit the two men in the roadThe moment the car hit the two men in the road

“I died on the road. Now I can’t work, I can’t buy things, I can’t have a social life and I nearly lost my flat – my life is completely ruined.”

He added: “It’s like someone taking the heart out of your chest.”

The two men said that four days after the crash they walked into Forest Gate police station, in Romford Road, and insisted officers take their statements.

A police appeal was later issued on April 29, including CCTV footage of the men being run over.

The medication Bernard Dowling says he has to take every day since being hit by the carThe medication Bernard Dowling says he has to take every day since being hit by the car

“That’s the only face-to-face we’ve had with police,” Mr Dowling, who continues to have “horrifying” nightmares about the crash and must now take eight tablets a day to cope with his injuries, said. “They promised us they would do another appeal, but they haven’t. They are either incompetent or worse.”

He added: “We’ve tried so many times to get in touch – visits, calls, emails – and they’re fobbing us off. Why won’t they talk to us?”

Mr Grubb, who served with the Scots Guards in the Falklands War, said he is worried about the people that depend on him.

“My parents are both in their eighties and I can’t look after them anymore,” he said.

General view of Upton Lane, at the spot where Bernard Dowling and Chris Grubb were both injured in a hit and run seven months ago.General view of Upton Lane, at the spot where Bernard Dowling and Chris Grubb were both injured in a hit and run seven months ago.

“I fought for my country – now I just want something in return.”

In response to the victims’ pleas, Det Ch Insp Neil Matthews said it would not be “appropriate to comment” on the case.

“The Metropolitan Police accepts that there will be occasions when members of the public are not entirely satisfied with the service they have received,” he added.

If you know anything about the incident and think you could help the investigation, call police on 101.

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