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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Ambulance driver case adjourned
Mike Ferguson
Mike Ferguson was taking an organ for transplant
An ambulance driver caught speeding while rushing a liver to hospital for a transplant operation has had the case against him adjourned.

Mike Ferguson, from Bradford, was taking the organ from Leeds to Cambridge for an emergency transplant when he was allegedly clocked at 104mph.

He had been due to appear before magistrates in Grantham, on Wednesday but solicitors submitted a letter requesting a postponement and the clerk to the court formally adjourned the hearing until 11 June in his absence.

Meanwhile, a transplant patient from south Wales who was operated on five years ago, has offered to pay any fines and costs incurred by Mr Ferguson.

The CPS believes this was not a medical emergency, and therefore should be put before the court for them to decide
Alison Kerr CPS

Mike Trayler, a former miner who retired due to ill-health, said: "I'm supporting the gentleman wholeheartedly.

"I just find it pathetic. This gentleman should be supported by all the organ transplant patients."

Mr Ferguson told BBC News Online: "I was just doing my job, but the police have a differing point of view.

"I was asked to move an organ as soon as possible - I didn't know the condition of the organ, or the recipient."

Union support

Crown prosecutors say Mr Ferguson has been charged because the journey he was making did not constitute a medical emergency under the terms of the Act which allows ambulance drivers to break the speed limit.

But he has been given further support by the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service and the GMB union.

The prosecution will say that both Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire Police recorded his ambulance speeding on the A1 in the early hours of 16 January.

In a statement, the chief constable of Lincolnshire Police Richard Childs said: "Deciding which cases to prosecute and which not to is a fine balance.

"Sometimes the decision, whilst the right one technically, may not be the right one in the eyes of the wider community until the broader issues are in the public domain.

"All I can do is to make it very clear that we consider saving life the most important thing we do.

"To suggest that this case compromises that principle is unfair, deeply hurtful and wrong."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Bilton
"Many crews here [in Leeds] are concerned about what this case will mean for them"



SEE ALSO:
Speeding ambulance driver 'doing his job'
27 May 03  |  West Yorkshire
A licence to speed
28 May 03  |  UK


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