Belfast Telegraph

Mum's anger police driver not charged over daughter's death after doing 80mph in a 30 zone

By Lesley Houston

The mother of a young woman killed in a crash after a high-speed chase by police has spoken of her disbelief that the officer driving the car was not prosecuted.

Although the two PSNI officers following the vehicle in which 20-year old Claire Kelly had been a passenger were disciplined, they were not convicted of causing the fatal collision in Co Londonderry in 2011.

A probe by the Police Ombudsman found the officer's driving fell "far below" expected standards, but Dr Michael Maguire found no causal link to the woman's death.

Ms Kelly's mother Denise McAuley asked: "Is it one law for him? One law for a police officer?"

The tragedy happened on December 11, when police went in pursuit of a Renault Clio, which they had seen performing a handbrake turn. The advanced trained driver at the wheel abandoned the chase due to the speed of the fleeing Clio.

But the car crashed 12 seconds later, near Claudy.

The Clio driver was jailed for causing death by careless driving with excess alcohol.

Dr Maguire said driving so fast was justified in some cases.

But in this tragedy, when the police car went through a town without emergency lights or sirens, "when drunken night revellers are likely to be nearby", was have been "far below" expected standards of police.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph