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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Discharge for 159mph speeding Pc
Pc Mark Milton at court on Friday
Pc Milton said he was familiarising himself with the vehicle
A policeman who drove at 159mph on a motorway has been found guilty of dangerous driving and given an absolute discharge.

Cameras on board Pc Mark Milton's unmarked car clocked him driving at high speeds on the M54 in Shropshire.

He was originally cleared of the same charge but the High Court overturned his acquittal and ordered a retrial.

But despite his "eye watering" speeds the judge at Ludlow Magistrates' Court gave Pc Milton an absolute discharge.

District Judge Peter Wallis said the 38-year-old West Mercia Police officer had "suffered enough" with two-and-a-half years of court proceedings.

The West Mercia Police Federation said it was "disappointed" with the guilty verdict and would lodge an appeal.

We are pleased with the outcome but not with the conviction
David Twigg, Pc Milton's solicitor

Milton's solicitor, David Twigg, said the appeal would challenge the judge's view that his client's advance driving skills were irrelevant to the charge.

"We are pleased with the outcome but not with the conviction," he said.

But Andy White, federation chairman, confirmed the Pc, from Telford, Shropshire, was "still in a driving position and still employed" by West Mercia Police.

He said: "They (the force) will consider a disciplinary process which will have to be a decision made by West Mercia and that hasn't been made yet."

Ludlow magistrates were shown the footage of the West Mercia police officer speeding on the motorway at 0300 GMT in a 3.2l Vauxhall Vectra on 5 December 2003.

'Experimenting' with vehicle

Prosecutors said Pc Milton, described as "the creme de la creme" of police drivers, had also driven at 131mph on a nearby A-road.

Pat Sullivan, prosecuting, admitted there had been some dispute over the speeds the camera had recorded but said it was accepted they were "broadly" accurate.

During the trial, Insp David McWilliam, based at Telford police station with Pc Milton, said the constable had told him he was experimenting with the Vauxhall Vectra because he had not driven it before.

Pc Milton, an advanced driver, has always maintained he was familiarising himself with the car and the reason for his high-speed driving was to practise the skills he had learnt.

In a statement read out in court, he said: "I was advised to familiarise myself with vehicles, so when there was a need to respond at speed you were aware of its performance."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Pc Milton's solicitor on the case



SEE ALSO
Pc 'was speeding on right roads'
23 Aug 06 |  Shropshire
Pc 'was caught driving at 159mph'
21 Aug 06 |  Shropshire
Retrial date for 159mph policeman
13 Apr 06 |  Shropshire

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