Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Fatal crash officers disciplined

Pc Sean Schofield and Pc Andrew Massingham
Speed-registering equipment was being tested when the crash happened

Two police officers have been disciplined for their part in a high-speed crash which killed a retired lecturer in Lancashire.

Peter Williams, 67, died when his vehicle was in collision with a police car on a narrow country road near Over Kellett in November 2006.

Driver Pc Sean Schofield and instructor Pc Andrew Massingham were cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

But both men have now been removed from traffic duties and given a warning.

Schofield, 38, whose car had hit speeds of up to 104mph before the collision, was convicted of dangerous driving in a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

The officer, of Morecambe, Lancashire, was fined 500 and banned from driving for two years.

Disciplinary measures were taken against the officers following discussions between the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Lancashire Constabulary.

Peter Williams
Mr Williams was a retired lecturer

As well as being banned from driving duties for three years, Schofield has been stripped of his advanced driving status and given a superintendent's written warning.

Pc Massingham will be removed from traffic duties for two years, stripped of his advanced driving status and also given a warning.

Naseem Malik, IPCC Commissioner for the North West, revealed that Pc Massingham was later convicted of a speeding offence while under investigation for the crash.

"It was clear from our independent investigation that the driving of these two officers fell well below the required standard," she said.

"It is essential that lessons are learned and action is taken to ensure the standards expected of police drivers are maintained.

"Mr Williams' family have endured an incredibly difficult time and have shown great dignity throughout. I hope the disciplinary sanctions given to the two officers can give them some comfort."

At the conclusion of the trial, members of the jury sent a note to the judge criticising Lancashire Police for allowing the high-speed training exercise on the road, which had a speed limit of 60mph.

Schofield was testing in-car Vascar (Vehicle Average Speed Computer and Recorder) equipment that involved him chasing a car driven by trainer, Pc Andrew Massingham, to register its speed.

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