A police driving trainer who was on an exercise in which a colleague crashed into a pensioner's car, killing him, has told a court he felt responsible.No doubt the defence for each officer is seeking to place the majority of the blame on the other. First up is the instructor, who claims:
Pc Massingham was testing in-car VASCAR (Vehicle Average Speed Computer and Recorder) equipment that involved Pc Schofield following to register Pc Massingham's speed.Eh…? The test of the equipment required Schofield to follow Massingham, so of course the speed was set by him. Not that that absolves Schofield of responsibility, as he could have slowed if he felt the situation was too dangerous.
Pc Schofield claims it was Pc Massingham who set the speeds for the exercise.
But in Pc Massingham's police interview after the crash he said he was "staggered" by his colleague's speed.
He said: "I wouldn't have driven at that speed on that road. I would have asked him on the radio to slow down straight away had I realised the vehicle was travelling that fast."
"I would expect him to be doing a speed similar to mine or slightly slower."
But regardless of the verdict, one thing is clear – an innocent motorist lost his life and his wife was injured because two policemen drove like maniacs on a public road not for a real crime, but simply to test a new bit of equipment they’d been given. To hell with making cases up out of thin air over ladders and slippery floors, where’s the H&S Executive when this sort of thing’s going on?
If any good comes from this case, hopefully it will be that police are never, ever again given license to test equipment on a public road in this fashion. Let them use disused airfields to their hearts content instead.