PC in fatal crash jailed for three years

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The Independent Online

A traffic officer who killed a schoolgirl after driving at 94mph without blue lights or a siren, was jailed for three years yesterday.

Hayley Adamson, 16, died instantly after she was hit by PC John Dougal's Volvo estate as she crossed a residential road in Newcastle's West End last May.

He had denied causing death by dangerous driving, claiming his speed in a 30mph zone was justified as he was following a suspect car. Judge David Hodson said the case was "an immense tragedy for everyone involved in it".

He said: "A young woman on the threshold of her adult life has been killed and her grieving family have suffered an unbearable loss.

The judge accepted Dougal was a highly-trained police driver who loved his job and who also possessed "rare human qualities".

He said: "Your life as a police officer has rightly been described as a vocation that has now all ended."

The judge said the officer drove at "grossly excessive speed" without using either warning lights or the car's siren.

"When Hayley went out into the road ahead of you, despite the remarkable swiftness of your actions and your strenuous but unavailed efforts to take avoiding action, this dreadful collision occurred and Hayley was dead."

Chris Enzor, chief crown prosecutor, said outside the court: "There simply are not any winners in this case.

"Hayley has tragically lost her life and Mr Dougal has now been sentenced to prison."