PC cleared over death crash

Jamie Haslett Photo:

A South Yorkshire policeman accused of killing a 19 year-old by careless driving has been acquitted.

PC Rodney Craig Mills, 42 , was driving a patrol car which hit and killed student Jamie Haslett on Broad Lane in Sheffield in October 2010.

The 19 year old died from head injuries. He was forced on to bonnet of the car, hit the windscreen and was then thrown into the air.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission independently investigated the incident and found that Pc Mills had been driving at around 58mph in a 30mph zone without any emergency warning equipment activated at the time of the collision.

Pc Mills was responding to an abandoned 999 call received at 3.30am from the Stannington area of Sheffield. The call had come from the home of an elderly man who had contacted police previously after falling at his home. Due to this information PC Mills had decided to drive to West Bar police station to collect a battering ram in case he needed to force entry into the house.

This detour brought Pc Mills onto Broad Lane. Mr Haslett was returning from a nightclub with friends. He was struck by the police car as he crossed the road.

A file of evidence was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided to bring criminal charges against PC Mills.

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: "I would like to extend my sympathies again to Jamie's family and friends. I have met his family and it is clear he was a well loved and popular young man. He had been enjoying a night out with friends and was walking hand in hand with them on his way back to his friend's student residence. It is a tragic example of the fragility of human life that one second he was enjoying life to the full and laughing with friends and the next he was dead.

"PC Mills will have to live with what happened for the rest of his life. Jamie's family will have to live without a much loved young man.

”A jury has decided PC Mills is not guilty of a criminal offence and I must respect that decision. It remains for me to discuss with South Yorkshire Police whether Pc Mills should be subject to any disciplinary proceedings as a result of the findings of our investigation.”

The IPCC's investigation also determined that South Yorkshire Police's policy in relation to when officers should use emergency equipment was vague and open to interpretation. The IPCC has recommended that South Yorkshire Police review this policy.