Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Crash Pc 'drove 68mph over limit'

A West Mercia Police officer drove at 108mph in a 40mph speed limit area, a court heard
A West Mercia Police officer drove at 108mph in a 40mph speed limit area, a court heard

A police officer was driving at 108mph seconds before crashing his patrol car in a village with a 40mph speed limit, a court has heard.

Pc Mark Milton is alleged to have reached the "grossly excessive" speed shortly before his BMW was badly damaged when it drove over a traffic island.

The 46-year-old officer, whose vehicle suffered a shredded tyre and broken suspension strut, denies driving dangerously on the A442 at Cold Hatton, Shropshire, while on duty with West Mercia Police on the night of October 26, 2011.

Opening the case against the constable, prosecutor Pat Sullivan told Worcester Crown Court the data recorder of the 5 Series BMW showed the vehicle was travelling at 92mph when it struck the raised "splitter" island at about 10.30pm.

Mr Sullivan told jurors that Milton, who is based in Market Drayton, Shropshire, contacted his supervisor by radio several minutes after the collision claiming to have hit a kerb.

The court heard a colleague of PC Milton then attended the scene of the accident, which triggered the driver's airbag.

The barrister said: "Mark Milton explained that he had been chasing a car that he believed had been a stolen Audi. He was asked how fast he was driving and he said between 90 and 100mph." After examining the roadway, the court heard, it became obvious to Pc Milton and his colleague that the car had struck the central island.

Alleging that the defendant's driving fell way below the standard of a reasonable and prudent motorist, Mr Sullivan said: "Where the collision had taken place the speed limit was 40mph. Therefore, an investigation into what had happened began internally within the police."

Evidence for the inquiry was contained in the BMW's data recorder, which was analysed by a collision investigator. Mr Sullivan told the jury: "He (the investigator) has concluded that the maximum speed attained by Pc Milton as he drove along that piece of road - after the 40mph started and before the collision - was 108mph." Analysis of a 26-second section of the data available to investigators showed that the average speed of the car was between 98mph and 99mph.

Concluding his opening remarks, Mr Sullivan told jurors: "The Crown's case is that this is grossly excessive speeding - so grossly excessive that it amounts to dangerous driving."

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