AN award-winning journalist who was left brain damaged after he was knocked from his bike by a London police car is suing the Metropolitan Police for multi-million pound damages.

Donald MacLeod, 63, suffered devastating head injuries when the car, racing to the scene of a shooting, clipped his handlebars and sent him sailing through the air, his lawyers say.

The grandfather, of Inveresk Village, East Lothian, who is now unable to look after his own affairs, is suing the Met Police through his wife, Barbara.

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Today, his barrister, Angus Withington, told Judge Martin McKenna, at London's High Court, that the police were to blame for the life-changing accident in May 2010.

Mr MacLeod, then The Guardian's education editor, had gone to a wine bar after work before setting off to cycle to his then home in Stoke Newington.

The police car, responding to reports of a shooting, was also travelling along Southgate Road, he said.

Julie Walton, who was in The Northgate pub nearby said in her witness statement: "I heard the loudest crash I had ever heard. I looked up and saw a body flying up in the air."

Mrs MacLeod said her husband was "absolutely safety-conscious".

David Waters, representing the Met, claims Mr MacLeod cycled out of Northgate Road or from the pavement into the path of the police car.

The hearing continues.