Death Crash Policewoman escapes Charges

MCE Insurance

On the 20th of March last year there was a terrible collision involving an off-duty female special constable and motorcyclist. David Bartholomew, 54 was riding his Honda CBF1000 on the A31 in Ferndown, Dorset when Collette Carpenter pulled out of a side road into his path in her Peugeot 206. Tragically Bartholomew, experienced motorcyclist and father-of-two, died of head injuries and multiple fractures hours after the collision. Witnesses said no one was speeding at the time of the crash.

When first giving her statement Carpenter repeatedly lied to Police saying that she had not been using her mobile phone but it was discovered that she had in fact been using it on loudspeaker in her lap at the time of the incident. When asked why she changed her story Carpenter, who has handed out at least six fines for using mobiles whilst driving, said: "I don't know why I didn't say about the phone. I was in shock; maybe I didn't think it was relevant at the time. I was not distracted."

PC John Hayward, Dorset Police's accident investigator, told Bournemouth Coroner's Court: "The use of her mobile phone can only have been a distraction and has very likely contributed to her not seeing the motorcyclist." That being said the Crown Prosecution service on February 11th this year recorded the verdict of accidental death at the inquest. A CPS spokeswoman said there was not enough evidence to charge Carpenter with causing death by careless or dangerous driving.

Lindsey Witcombe, Bartholomew's partner of 12 years said after the hearing: "I was hoping for justice for him. The CPS seems to have appointed themselves both judge and jury. He was a highly intelligent and talented man. His life was his children."

Quotes taken from article in MCN Feb 2013

26.02.13 - James Davey

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