Oliver Jarvis defends Police Armed Response Driver
November 17, 2023
Following a four-day trial at Wolverhampton Court, the defendant, a police officer, was acquitted of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. He was convicted of Careless Driving which he had admitted previously and in his evidence before the jury.
The defendant, a serving police officer for nine years, had been tasked with responding to an incident in Wombourne at which suspects had been seen to enter a building wielding machetes.
During a challenging 45-mile drive to the scene, at night, the officer had used his driving exemptions to reach speeds of 80 mph in a 30mph zone. Having driven onto a traffic light controlled junction at 55 mph, which was on red, the officer collided with another vehicle which had right of way. The other driver sustained serious injuries. The defendant’s case was that he did not intend to contravene the lights, which would have been contrary to driver response training, but rather, that he had made a ‘huge mistake’ in failing to see the lights, signage and junction. The successful defence was that his driving error amounted to careless driving which fell below the standard of a competent and careful driver, as opposed to far below (the test for dangerous driving).
The new offence of Causing Serious Injury by Careless Driving was not available to the jury because it was not in force at the date of the collision.
The defendant was fined £200 and his licence was endorsed with 7 penalty points. He was not disqualified from driving.
See a press report here.