The family of a 17-year-old boy who died after crashing a stolen car during a police chase has slammed the Metropolitan Police for throwing out a misconduct hearing because of official delays.

Liam Albert crashed in Lammas Lane, Esher, on July 8, 2009, in a high-speed pursuit and died in hospital eight days later.

On November 2 this year, an internal disciplinary hearing was called off because the amount of time that has passed since his death meant “a fair process was not possible”.

In disciplinary proceedings it was alleged Met officer PC John Wills, who was in the police passenger seat, failed to install the relevant in-car video system, failed to provide an appropriate commentary of the pursuit and removed evidence from the crash scene without authority.

Inspector Mandy Chamberlain, also from the Met, who arrived at the scene later, was alleged to have issued an instruction to delete photographic evidence and withheld evidence from a Surrey Police investigation.

Liam’s parents, Sharla John and Delroy Albert, said: “This was an opportunity for the officers and the Met to explain their conduct during and after the fatal collision."

They said they believed 'the death of Liam and the truth was always less important than self-preservation'.

A 2011 inquest found Liam, of Vectis Road, Mitcham, died “as a direct result” of police involvement, and police should have stopped the chase 2.7km earlier.

The police driver, PC Paul Rogers, retired before the misconduct process began.

Insp Chamberlain has been suspended since May this year - preventing her from retiring - so she could answer the allegations, while PC Wills has been on restricted duties.

Deputy assistant commissioner Richard Martin, who leads for professionalism for the Met said: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Liam’s family for their tragic loss.

“It is crucially important for public confidence that police officers are held to account and the sad death of Liam has been investigated twice, through a managed and then independent IPCC inquiry, and fully scrutinised during an inquest.

“However, it is also very important that officers are treated fairly and in the exceptional circumstances of this case the panel determined that could not happen.”

An IPCC investigation began in May 2013, but did not interview PC Wills or Insp Chamberlain until autumn 2014.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute in March 2016, and in April that year the IPCC told the Met to begin its misconduct process.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “We have apologised to Liam’s family for the frustration and upset this has caused. Since this investigation concluded, the IPCC has undergone a substantial change programme and has made significant improvements in the way we work to prevent similar delays occurring.”