Man jailed for death of off-duty Pc Mike Silcock

Pc Mike Silcock
Image caption Pc Mike Silcock was hit by a car in Heaton Mersey

A man who boasted he had knocked down and killed an off duty police officer has been jailed for four years.

Pc Mike Silcock, 30, died when he was hit by a car in Heaton Mersey, Stockport, while off-duty in 2009.

Stephen Benson, 26, of no fixed abode, admitted causing death by careless driving, at a previous hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Thomas Joyce, 29, and Darren Hamilton, 31, who admitted conspiracy to defraud an insurance company, were also jailed.

Joyce, of Cranwell Drive, Manchester, was sentenced to 13 weeks in prison and disqualified from driving for two years, while Hamilton, Burnage Lane, Manchester, was jailed for 21 weeks and disqualified for two years.

In addition Benson, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and was also disqualified from driving for five years.

The court heard that Benson, 25, who had a "shocking" criminal record, was asked to destroy the car for an insurance scam but mowed down the off-duty officer Pc hours after taking the BMW M3.

Pc Silcock, 30, and his friend Pc Sam Billington were leaving the Frog and Railway pub in Stockport, Cheshire, at closing time on 6 March 2009, when Benson came "flying and screaming" along the road in the gold-coloured car, the court heard.

Pc Billington was "clipped" and escaped with bruises but Pc Silcock, who served with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), was thrown up in the air and 15ft (4.5m) along the road by the BMW, which witnesses said was travelling up to, or over, 50mph.

Benson sped off, torching the car, which was found burnt-out on a local golf course an hour later.

Image caption Benson torched the car, which was later found burnt-out on a local golf course

Pc Silcock suffered massive head injuries and was pronounced dead in Stepping Hill hospital five hours later.

The court heard Hamilton had got into debt and wanted the car to be torched for insurance money, so Joyce agreed to handle the job as a "favour", acting as a go-between by recruiting Benson to destroy the vehicle.

Outside court, Pc Silcock's father Glynn, a retired detective chief superintendent with GMP, said: "My view of all three is that they are the complete antithesis of my son. My son was caring, compassionate and intelligent.

"They are low-life criminal scum whose actions have led to his death.

"Things that went on that night were much more serious than reflected in the sentence."

An appeal on BBC One's Crimewatch led to people naming the three involved - with some of the witnesses now under police protection.

Jailing Benson, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC, recorder of Manchester, said: "The death of Michael Silcock has caused great loss to his family and friends.

"You drove off. That was callous and heartless. It led to increased distress for the victim's family."

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