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post #1 of (permalink) Old 31st January 2006
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159mph Pc's acquittal challenged

A court's refusal to convict a police constable who reached 159mph on a motorway of speeding and dangerous driving is being challenged. Pc Mark Milton, 38, from Telford, Shropshire, was recorded by the patrol car's video camera on the M54 in 2003.

District Judge Bruce Morgan cleared him after hearing he was "familiarising" himself with a new car.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions is asking the High Court to set aside that decision.

In the original hearing at Ludlow Magistrates' Court Judge Morgan said Pc Milton, who was trained in advanced driving, was the "creme de la creme" of police drivers.

'Lack of policy'

The district judge took into account the fact that two police officers, including West Mercia Police's senior driving instructor, who gave evidence for the prosecution, had declined to classify the defendant's driving as dangerous.

He said: "I can't help but see the irony that those that brought this prosecution are those very people who have purchased cars that go at this speed and paid for him (the defendant) to go to learn to drive at these speeds."

The judge also expressed concern at West Mercia Police's "total lack of policy" on when and where police drivers should practise driving at very high speeds.

Later a police spokesman said the force was to clarify the guidance issued to advanced drivers.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it was shocked that such a speed was not regarded as dangerous by the court.

But the Police Federation defended the driving of Pc Milton.
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