Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 13:23 UK

Pc cleared of killing pedestrian


Pc Damien Myerscough was found guilty of driving without due care and attention

An off-duty police officer whose motorcycle killed a pedestrian as she walked home has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

Pc Damien Myerscough, 42, was instead found guilty by a jury of driving without due care and attention.

He was fined 2,000, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay 1,000 costs at Bolton Crown Court.

Lyndsay Oldham died instantly in the crash in Ainsworth, Bury, last year. Her family say justice was not done.

Myerscough, who denied the charge, was off-duty when his vehicle drove into a car that had turned right in front of him, Bolton Crown Court was told.

He was sent sliding into the kerb, breaking his leg, but his motorbike hit Ms Oldham, 43, who was walking down the road with two of her children.

Nothing I could say, no sentence I could pass, could be seen by Mrs Oldham's family as an adequate response to their tragic loss
Judge Elliot Knopf

One of her daughters, Sarah, cried in court as the verdict was passed by a majority of ten to two on Thursday.

Andrew Nuttal, prosecuting, had told the court Myerscough had taken "a gamble" when he overtook three cars in the same manoeuvre.

He told the court the defendant had essentially taken responsibility after the crash when he told a member of the public: "I'm doomed, that's my career gone."

Myerscough, an officer with Greater Manchester Police for 16 years, told the court that his speed on the 30mph (48km/h) limit had been "about 33mph (53km/h)".

Judge Elliot Knopf said: "Nothing I could say, no sentence I could pass, could be seen by Mrs Oldham's family as an adequate response to their tragic loss.

Lyndsay Oldham
Lyndsay Oldham was walking home when she was hit by the bike

He added: "A message must go out to road users that they have an obligation and duty to accept the responsibilities for their driving, to accept that they have duties, and to recognise a duty of care to other road users."

Outside court, Pc Peter Woodhams, of Greater Manchester Police, read a statement from Mrs Oldham's family in which they described the officer's riding as "stupid and pointless".

"The collision that followed was completely avoidable," he said.

"The family have suffered greatly from the first day of this and to be quite honest it's still continuing." Asked if the family felt they had got justice, he replied: "No, not at all."

Pc Myerscough made no comment as he left court.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said the officer had been on sick leave since the crash and not suspended from duty.

"He will now be subject to internal disciplinary proceedings," a spokesperson said.

Jury retires in fatal crash case
15 Jul 08 |  Manchester
Fatal accident Pc denies 'gamble'
14 Jul 08 |  Manchester
Fatal crash Pc 'speeding on bike'
10 Jul 08 |  Manchester

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific