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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 18:53 GMT
Trucker jailed over Pc bike death
Det Con John Needham
Det Con John Needham died on the A50 near Doveridge
A lorry driver who fell asleep at the wheel and killed a policeman has been jailed for four years.

Det Con John Needham was riding in a cycling event on the A50 at Doveridge, on the Derbyshire-Staffordshire border, when he was struck in August 2003.

Sean Emery, 36, of Meir, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court.

His boss, Brian Alcock, 37, of Ashbourne, who encouraged drivers to work extra hours, was also jailed.

Alcock, of Park Avenue, was jailed for three years after admitting manslaughter.

We hope that John's death will result in something positive
Family statement

The court heard Alcock, who ran Future Driving Services in Stoke, encouraged his staff to work well beyond the 45 hour limit imposed on HGV drivers.

James Emery, 42, of St Paul's Court, Langton, and Philip Logan, 49, of Dilham Road, Forsbrook, Meir, were given nine month sentences for their part in the destruction of tacograph documents in the case.

An investigation by police led to a further 17 of Alcock's drivers being prosecuted for illegal driving.

Mr Needham's family called for stricter controls on the number of hours drivers are allowed to spend on the road after the case.

'Concealed hours'

Speaking through a police spokesperson after the hearing, the family said: "We hope that John's death will result in something positive - that the government will ensure transport agencies...will come under strict legislation in future, to force them to be held accountable."

The court was told that when Emery, of Sandon Road, collided with Mr Needham he had been driving for 41 out of the previous 57 hours.

In order to cover up the number of hours he had worked, Emery and Alcock then joined forces to conceal the drivers' shift patterns from police, the court heard.

But the truth came to light when other drivers who worked for Alcock testified that they had been driving more than the legal number of hours and had been pressurised into doing so by their boss.

Jeremy Benson QC, mitigating for Alcock, said the haulage boss admitted he encouraged his drivers to work beyond the permitted hours, but denied any suggestion he had forced them to do it.

Brian Forster QC, for father-of-four Emery, said the former driver, who was found to have mild learning difficulties, felt "genuine remorse" for what had happened and "will carry the guilt for the rest of his life".

Guilty plea over officer's death
05 Oct 05 |  Derbyshire
Pair deny cyclist's manslaughter
13 Sep 04 |  Derbyshire

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