Ex-Police Authority chief guilty

Former Cleveland Police Authority chief Dave McLuckie has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

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Cleveland MP: "No one is above the law"

The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has released the following statement in response to today’s guilty verdict for Dave McLuckie for perverting the course of justice.

“No one is above the law, and that applies to every elected politician and public servant.

"The Labour Party should not - and will not - tolerate this type of illegal behaviour.

“With a jury finding Cllr McLuckie guilty of an extremely serious offence and the Judge warning he faces a likely prison sentence, I am repeating my previous calls for him to resign as a Skelton ward councillor.

"He must do this as a matter of urgency."

– Tom Blenkinsop MP

Former Police Authority Chief found guilty

A former police authority chairman was convicted today of persuading a friend to take penalty points for him so he could avoid a driving ban and further his career.

Dave McLuckie, who was Cleveland Police Authority chairman at the time, was convicted of perverting the course of justice following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

In 2005, when McLuckie was still vice-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority and about to take on the senior role, he asked family friend Maurice Ward to take three penalty points for him after his black Peugeot was caught by a speed camera doing 36mph in a 30mph zone at Carlin How.

McLuckie, a member of Redcar and Cleveland Council who works at a potash mine, already had nine points on his licence and was facing a ban after the latest offence.

Instead, he visited his friend who lived nearby in Skelton and asked him for a "big favour" and to take the blame, the jury was told.

The allegation came to light after Mr Ward fell out with McLuckie when he became sick with cancer and felt his former friend had not visited him enough.

Mr Ward, who died in January last year, wrote a note saying he had taken the points for the authority chairman.

After his death, Mr Ward's daughter Donna contacted a councillor who took the matter to the police and McLuckie, from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, was arrested.

He denied perverting the course of justice but was convicted after a week-long trial.

During the trial, McLuckie claimed the speeding points allegation was driven by malice.

He accepted he might have been driving the car, but said he had discussed the matter with Mr Ward and they had agreed his friend had been driving the car at the time.


Dave McLuckie trial - latest report

Donna Ward, Maurice Ward's daughter, appeared as a witness at Newcastle Crown Court.

She said: I'm ashamed my dad did it. He always brought me and my brother up not to lie.

"I still, to this day, can't believe he did it."

And a friend of Maurice Ward told the court that Mr Ward took points for Mr McLuckie as "a family thing".Timothy Wrigley told the court that Mr Ward told him he had taken points for Mr McLuckie.

He said that it was his opinion that Mr Ward had done it because his son was dating Mr McLuckie's daughter.He said it was "a family thing".

Dave McLuckie trial - latest from court

Under cross-examination Nicholas Ward conceded that it was possible that his father did borrow Mr McLuckie's car without Mr McLuckie being in it.

He also said he couldn't remember when and where the conversation took place with Nicola McLuckie, where she asked him whether his father would take her father's points.

The defence went on to question Mr Ward's ability to remember events accurately.

The trial at Newcastle Crown Court, continues.

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