Police officer who drove through red light and injured six people sentenced

Collision: the police car hit a moped in Cotton Street at the Poplar High Street junction.
Collision: the police car hit a moped in Cotton Street at the Poplar High Street junction.

A police officer has been sentenced to over a year in prison after a collision with a moped left six people seriously injured.

PC Lee Drake collided with a young man on a moped on Cotton Street at the junction with Poplar High Street after driving through a red traffic light. The moped rider, 27, suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident last June but has since recovered.

Flying debris from the crash also injured four pedestrians. PC Drake of Tower Hamlets and another officer in the police car were also treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Appearing at the Southwark Crown Court on 5 January for a two-day trial, PC Drake pleaded guilty to one count of careless driving. He was found guilty of two further counts for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

PC Drake was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, for each count of dangerous driving to be served concurrently. This means if he commits a further offence within the next 18 months he will have to serve his sentence. He was also disqualified from driving for 30 months and fined £4,200.

The investigation by the Serious Collision Investigation Unit and the Directorate of Professional Standards (DoPS) found PC Drake violated police procedure for driving through a red light. While the car’s blue police lights were on, the officer failed to turn on the sirens.

“PC Drake’s driving on that day fell far below the high standards expected by the Met and the public,” said Adam Whitehall, from the DoPS.

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