Thursday, 27 April 2017

Manslaughter by motor vehicle ~ Death of Police Officer

On 5th October 2015, Constable David Phillips of the Merseyside Police was killed when he was struck by a stolen vehicle, driven at speed towards him by Clayton Ronald Williams, who was then aged 18.

On 21st March 2016, in the Crown Court at Manchester (William Davis J and a jury) Clayton Williams was convicted of manslaughter. He was sentenced for that offence and also for offences of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking resulting in death, to which he had previously pleaded guilty.  The sentence was - imprisonment for 20 years for the manslaughter and concurrent terms of 2 years for burglary and 8 years for aggravated vehicle taking resulting in death.  He was also disqualified from driving for life.

Williams appealed against the sentence.  Dismissing the appeal, Sir Brian Leveson P said - "In our judgment, although undoubtedly severe, the appellant cannot have any complaint with the sentence passed upon him: it was thoroughly deserved.  Condign and severe punishment will be imposed on all those who kill or injure police officers who, acting in the course of their public duty, do their best to keep the public from harm. If that fact is publicised and recognised by those prepared to steal cars and drive dangerously, then perhaps they will think twice before doing so. This appeal is dismissed."

See the court's judgment

I B Times 2nd November 2015

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