A POLICE motorcyclist was so badly injured he will never return to ‘front-line duties’ after a driver panicked as she tried to get out of his way.
Having indicated and moved over to the left, Lisa Perkins cancelled the indication and suddenly made a right turn – straight into the side of Pc Ian Jamieson’s Kawasaki ZG1400.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found her not guilty of causing serious injury to the officer, who was on a ‘blue light training run’ at the time, by dangerous driving.
Instead, the 48-year-old, of Meadow Road, Alcester, was convicted of the alternative offence of careless driving, for which she was fined £300 and had six points on her licence.
The charge followed a collision on the B439 Evesham Road between Ms Perkins, driving a Citroen C2, and police motorcyclist Pc Jamieson at 3.15pm on November 2, 2016.
Prosecutor Simon Phillips said Pc Jamieson was undergoing an advanced motorcycle training course with another officer, Stephen Lawton, and their police instructor Jim Sampson.
The collision took place after they had ridden into Worcestershire before setting off back to Warwickshire Police HQ in Leek Wootton.
On the way Pc Sampson initiated a ‘blue light run,’ and they came up behind Ms Perkins in her Citroen on a ‘long sweeping uphill bend’ on the B439 between Bidford and Stratford.
With Pc Jamieson in the lead, they slowed to match her speed on the 50mph road because it would not have been safe to overtake on the left-hand bend.
Ms Perkins later said she knew they were there, but after indicating to turn left she cancelled it, and instead suddenly turned right as Pc Jamieson was overtaking.
She hit his bike, throwing him from it as it went diagonally across the road and hit a telegraph pole before bursting into flames.
Pc Jamieson was rushed to hospital by air ambulance with fractures to both legs and his pelvis, and he still wears a frame on his left leg and walks with a stick – and he will be unable to return to ‘front-line duties.’
Giving evidence, Ms Perkins said she saw the blue lights coming up behind her, but did not recall hearing the sirens, although she accepted they were also being used.
“I thought they were on their way to an emergency, and I thought I was in their way. I thought I had to take steps to get out of their way. I was in panic because of the blue lights.”
She said she cancelled the left indicator when she realised it would be ‘stupid’ to try to pull onto the kerb.
“I remember moving out into the central position of the road and then seeing the turn. I made a decision to turn down that junction. I was in a panic, and it was just escape mode, just shoot down there.”
She collapsed in tears as the jury entered its verdict, and after a short break for her to compose herself, her barrister Tom Gent said she would lose her job if she was disqualified.
Fining Ms Perkins, Judge Anthony Potter said: “This was a brief incident with a solitary mistake which has sadly had terrible ramifications so far as Ian Jamieson is concerned.
“This was a momentary act of inattention, failing to look behind you. It was an act caused by your desire to move out of the way of emergency vehicles. It is a cruel irony that in trying to do the right thing, you committed a criminal act.
“I bear in mind that you stopped and had the courage to go and attempt to assist with Mr Jamieson’s care and were the first person to dial 999 and expressed immediate remorse.”