West Mercia Police officer guilty of Worcestershire crash death

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PC Jamie HollowayImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Jamie Holloway, a qualified advanced driver, will be sentenced on 23 September

A police officer who travelled at speeds of up to 110mph before a fatal crash has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

PC Jamie Holloway, 50, was responding to an emergency call in Worcestershire when he hit the back of David Shaw's car on 28 May 2018.

It caused the 53-year-old's vehicle to flip over twice and land on its roof. He died in hospital 13 days later.

Holloway was convicted at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday.

The West Mercia Police qualified advanced driver, who has since resigned from the force, was cleared of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Jurors heard Mr Shaw had been in a queue of traffic travelling at 37mph on a 50mph section of the A449 near the village of Acton.

He was signalling and moving right as he was hit by the unmarked BMW X5, which was travelling on blue lights and sirens.

The court heard a collision investigator calculated the officer's brakes were applied 1.5 seconds, or 60 metres, before the crash, when it was travelling at 103mph.

The police vehicle was doing 75mph at the point of impact, after heavy braking.

'Risk to life'

During the opening of the case, Duncan Atkinson QC said Holloway, who was in the car with a colleague, crashed while on the way to Worcester to provide back-up to officers dealing with a man who had been making suicide threats and had a "tendency towards violence".

He said the defendant, who has been an officer since 2002, later told investigators he "considered there to be an immediate risk to life", and "therefore believed his driving was necessary and proportionate".

However, Mr Atkinson said there was force guidance about when officers should drive above the speed limit, which read they "should only have done so following a clear decision of necessity, proportionality and circumstances existing at the time".

West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Jones said the force took "incidents such as these incredibly seriously" and was "committed to taking any learning from this case and embedding it within our organisation".

The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which carried out an independent investigation and an internal misconduct process will take place.

Holloway was bailed to appear back at the same court for sentencing on 23 September.

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