A SPEEDING policeman who killed a student crossing a road in Sheffield has been cleared of causing his death by careless driving.
Rodney Craig Mills, aged 42, of Owlthorpe Rise, Mosborough, was driving his patrol car at nearly twice the legal speed limit, without his blue lights or sirens activated, when he hit 19-year-old Jamie Haslett, jurors at Bradford Crown Court were told.
He was driving back to his station to pick up some equipment on his way to a non-emergency call when he struck Jamie on Broad Lane, close to the junction with Mappin Street, in October 2010.
The Sheffield Hallam University student died at the scene from head injuries.
He was a member of Manx Harriers, a former prefect and represented his school at a variety of sports.
Nicholas Barker, prosecuting, told jurors the police officer was travelling at 58mph in a 30mph zone.
PC Mills, who was on his way to a ‘priority’ call, which gave him an hour to respond, was found not guilty yesterday.
He told the court at the time of the collision the South Yorkshire Police policy for when to activate blue lights and sirens was ‘not set in stone’ and he had not expected the student to run out in front of him.
Jamie, originally from the Isle of Man, had been out drinking with friends and was returning to his student accommodation at around 3.45am when he was hit.
PC Mills has been a South Yorkshire Police officer since 2000 and served in the RAF for 12 years previously.
Deputy Chief Constable Bob Dyson said the force policy had been changed since the collision.
“South Yorkshire Police would like to pass our condolences to the family of Jamie Haslett,” he said.
“Immediately after the collision, the force referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission in order that an independent investigation could take place.
“That investigation has led to the evidence being considered by the jury who have concluded PC Mills is not guilty of the offence.
“The force will await any contact from the IPCC before deciding if there are any misconduct issues arising from this case.
“South Yorkshire Police have reviewed and updated our policy for when officers should use emergency equipment, in line with the IPCC’s recommendations.”
IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “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.”