Shocking moment police car smashes into a family vehicle seriously injuring a mother of two as officer was racing to the scene of an accident at up to 81mph in a 30mph zone
- PC Harry Chaplin was travelling up to 81mph in the residential area in Dorset
- His vehicle hit a Honda Civic carrying a family-of-four inside on July 9, 2022
- The 27-year-old was fined at Winchester Crown Court and given eight points
Footage of the shocking moment a police car smashes into a family vehicle as an officer drove more than twice the speed limit to an accident has been released by prosecutors.
PC Harry Chaplin, 27, hit the car while travelling up to 81mph in a 30mph zone on Littlemoor Road, Weymouth, Dorset on July 9, 2022. Inside the family vehicle was a husband and wife, Patrick and Claire Mulqueen, and their two young children.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Ms Mulqueen was knocked unconscious in the crash and suffered a brain bleed, while Mr Mulqueen suffered bruising and cuts. The two children also had bruising from their seat harnesses.
The court was shown the shocking dashcam footage of the victim’s car being overtaken, firstly by a police car driven by another officer, PC Derek Alexander, with its blue lights flashing and siren on.
The video then shows the Honda Civic, with its indicator flashing, turning right and being hit by Chaplin’s police vehicle, which also had its blue lights and siren on. The car was knocked onto its side.
Nicholas Cotter, prosecuting, told the court Chaplin had been driving at between 73mph and 81mph in the 30mph, which he said was ‘excessive’ for the residential area, even when responding to an emergency.
Ailsa Williamson, defending, said that Chaplin, who was a ‘highly regarded’ officer, had offered to meet the victims to discuss how the accident happened as a form of restorative justice.
She added that analysis showed he should have been travelling at 11mph slower in order to have been able to stop in time.
‘He was responding to an emergency road traffic accident and it’s a case where he has made an error of judgment as to the speed he was travelling but doing so while fulfilling his policing duties to the best of his ability’, she told the court.
Chaplin, of Weymouth, was originally charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, but the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of carless driving.
He was fined £307, ordered to pay a £123 surcharge and £500 in compensation to the family, and issued with eight penalty points.
Sentencing Chaplin, Judge Angela Morris said: ‘The speed you travelled was a serious error of judgment by you.’
She added that se would not disqualify him from driving because he had been ‘driving towards a serious RTA and not simply exceeding the speed limit’.
PC Alexander was also initially charged in connection with the incident, but the charges were later dropped by the CPS.