England

Crash death policeman drove at 'twice speed limit'

Jamie Haslett
Image caption Mr Haslett was a student at Sheffield Hallam University

A policeman was driving his patrol car at nearly twice the speed limit without lights or sirens when he hit and killed a student in Sheffield, a jury heard.

Jamie Haslett, 19, from the Isle of Man, died when he was hit by a South Yorkshire Police car in October 2010, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Mr Haslett was in the second year of a sport and business management degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

PC Rodney Craig Mills, 42, denies causing death by careless driving.

The court heard PC Mills, of Owlthorpe Rise, Mosborough, Sheffield, was driving back to the police station before responding to a silent 999 call when he struck Mr Haslett.

The student died at the scene from head injuries after being thrown "a considerable distance" into the air.

Nicholas Barker, prosecuting, said PC Mills was travelling at 58mph in a 30mph zone. The officer did not see Mr Haslett, who was running across the road, until less than a second before the impact.

'Crash unavoidable'

Mr Haslett, who was three times over the drink-drive limit, was crossing the road at the junction of Broad Lane and Mappin Street to return to his student accommodation at about 03:45 GMT on 27 October 2010 following a night out, the jury was told.

After the crash, PC Mills stopped and attended to Mr Haslett but there was nothing he could do, the court heard.

Mr Barker said police drivers were not always bound by the rules of the road but must "maintain a standard of safety".

"PC Mills failed to drive with sufficient care and attention in the circumstances, speeding through a built-up area," he said.

"At the time he began to press that brake, maybe some half a second before the impact, there was nothing he could do to avoid Jamie Haslett and that collision was unavoidable."

The trial continues.

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