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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Police force on trial, says judge
Pc Mark Milton
Pc Milton denies all the charges he faces
A judge in the case of a police officer accused of driving at speeds of up to 159mph has said West Mercia Police is also on trial.

District Judge Bruce Morgan made the comment after hearing conflicting evidence about the testing of patrol cars at West Mercia Police.

Pc Mark Milton, 38, from Telford, denies a charge of dangerous driving and five separate speeding charges.

Judge Morgan said the police force also has questions to answer.

I have it in mind to ask the chief constable or whoever is in charge of the traffic department to come along and tell me what the position is
Judge Bruce Morgan
Ludlow Magistrates Court had previously heard that Pc Milton had taken a newly-commissioned, unmarked Vauxhall Vectra car out on a night patrol in December 2003 to assess its capabilities.

The car's on-board video camera clocked him travelling at 159mph on the M54, at 84mph in a 30mph zone and 131mph on an A-road near his Telford base.

On Wednesday, the judge said he had heard evidence from one officer who would never advocate testing cars in built-up areas and would stick to 30mph and 40mph speed restrictions.

He said he had also heard from another, more senior officer who had said he saw nothing wrong with travelling well above these limits in order to assess a vehicle's limits and capabilities.

Judge Morgan told the court: "I have it in mind to ask the chief constable or whoever is in charge of the traffic department to come along and tell me what the position is... in view of the contradictory evidence from officers of the same force."

He added: "In some respect, West Mercia Police force is on trial."

David Twig, defending Milton, said there was no evidence of a written policy governing what advanced drivers could or could not do on the roads.

The trial was adjourned until 18 May.




SEE ALSO:
Pc in speeding trial denies risk
19 Apr 05 |  Shropshire
Pc on trial for speeding charges
18 Apr 05 |  Shropshire


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