Cop rapped over 124mph drive to station
24 July 2006

A police officer in Derbyshire has been given an official warning for hitting 124mph in a 70mph zone - when there was no real need to do so.

PC Chris Newsome arrested schoolteacher Robert Cox on December 29 2004, after Cox refused to take a breathalyser test. But en route to the police station with the suspect in the back seat, Newsome travelled at 91mph in a 40mph zone and at 124mph in a 70mph zone.

Cox filed a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission about the manner in which Newsome had dealt with the arrest. "If he had sneezed slightly or had a puncture the car would have been out of control and I could have been killed," he said.

But while the IPCC said that Cox's claims were unsubstantiated, it did criticise Newsome's driving. A report stated: "The speeds attained at key moments in the incident, namely 91mph in a 40mph zone and 124 on a 70mph dual carriageway, cannot be justified in these circumstances. The officer does in fact display clear double standards in correctly seeking to stop Mr Cox for crossing a solid white line, only to reach 91mph in the very same area a matter of minutes later." In interviews, Newsome had said that he felt he was in control of the car at all times.

Derbyshire Police has confirmed that an officer received a written warning over the incident, although no prosecution proceedings were brought against PC Newsome. Cox was later given a 15-month driving ban and a £400 fine for refusing to take the test.

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