PC cleared of death charge

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A police officer was yesterday cleared by a jury of causing the death of a teenager who died when his unmarked car crashed into a van.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court found PC Adrian Ward not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving but it convicted the 31-year-old officer of the lesser charge of careless driving. He was fined pounds 500 and his licence was endorsed with five penalty points.

PC Ward had been driving home Shelly Simmonite, a 15-year-old suspected shoplifter, when his red Astra ploughed head-on into the van in Maltby, South Yorkshire, killing Shelly and injuring her friend Emma Cubbin, also 15.