Lawyer hits out after PC cleared in car case

A LAWYER yesterday criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecuting a police officer who was cleared of dangerous driving after he mounted the pavement as he responded to an emergency.

Pc Neil Stovin, 40, was found not guilty by a jury at York Crown Court of dangerous driving and careless driving.

He was charged after he mounted the pavement while responding to a 999 call and reports that a 90-year-old woman had collapsed.

As he sped to the scene in his marked police car, his path was blocked by two abnormal loads and he mounted the pavement for a short distance.

No one was injured in the incident in Hull on July 10 last year.

A police supervisor, who was in charge of the escort of the abnormal loads, and who had not witnessed any driving by the officer, launched an investigation which resulted in a prosecution by the CPS.

The officer's lawyer said the police supervisor should "hang his head in shame".

Solicitor Damian Kelly said: "This case was a shocking waste of taxpayers' money at a time when the police service is trying to save money.

"The jury saw this case for what it was. Pc Stovin was at all times doing what the public expects of our brave police officers.

"As a result of this case, a complaint is shortly to be lodged with the Crown Prosecution Service and the chief constable of Humberside Police about the evidence presented in this case and why this case was ever brought to court."

The lawyer said his client mounted the pavement in "a controlled and measured manner, after carrying out a risk assessment" before continuing on his way to deal with the emergency call.

No members of the public were injured or affected by his driving, he added.

He said: "Pc Stovin thanks the jury and is relieved that his ordeal is now over.

He has always maintained that his actions were proportionate and justified in order to protect the public and preserve life."

The officer is based at a Hull police station.