Officer wanted speed ticket waived, crash trial told
A POLICE officer accused of causing a teenager's death by dangerous driving previously tried to have a speeding ticket cancelled because he was "one of the boys", a court heard yesterday.
Graeme Duncan, a road safety camera manager, told the court that he was shocked when Fabian Wright, a constable, approached him in his office and tried to persuade him to waive the ticket.
Wright was booked after being caught travelling off-duty in his Audi at 61mph on the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen road. The speed limit was 50mph because of roadworks.
The Grampian Police officer, 28, from Aberdeen, went on trial yesterday accused of causing the death of Lisa-Marie Wyllie, 16.
He is alleged to have driven his car dangerously and at excessive speed on Aberdeen's Beach Boulevard on 13 January, 2005, colliding with a car driven by Laura Mackie.
Ms Wyllie, a passenger in Ms Mackie's car, was severely injured and died five days later.
Ms Mackie and Wright's passenger, Stuart Dempster, were also injured in the accident.
Wright faces a separate charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice on 6 January, 2005, by trying to get Mr Duncan to take no further action against the earlier speeding offence. He denies both charges.
Mr Duncan, who works for the North East Safety Camera Partnership (NESCAM), told the High Court in Aberdeen that Wright had come into his office after he had been caught speeding.
He had not seen him before but assumed he was a police officer because he was wearing a uniform and fluorescent yellow jacket.
"He asked me if I could do something about it [the ticket] because he was one of the boys," he told the court.
Mr Duncan said he told Wright he "should have known better" than to drive at such speed in roadworks.
He told Wright he could only help if there were any mitigating circumstances, and as there were none he would have to process the application accordingly.
The advocate-depute, Peter Hammond, asked Mr Duncan what Wright's manner was like.
"Sort of laid back," he replied.
Mr Duncan added: "I felt at the time he was trying to get me to put it across favourably and possibly let him off with the offence."
Mr Duncan, who now works for the council, said he had been "taken aback" by the conversation and had never come across any other officer making such a request.
The court heard that because of a mistake made concerning the length of the road where the speed limit was imposed, a number of speeding tickets, including Wright's, were later declared invalid.
Julie Milne, 25, a liaison officer with NESCAM, was in Mr Duncan's office when Wright came in on 6 January last year. She said she believed that Wright knew Mr Duncan.
"There was a buddy-buddy atmosphere that he [Wright] was maybe assuming he would be let off because he was a police officer caught speeding."
Ms Milne said she reported the matter to police after hearing about a serious road accident involving Wright around a week later.
The trial, before Lord Menzies, continues.
This article: http://news.scotsman.com/aberdeen.cfm?id=235092006
Last updated: 15-Feb-06 01:35 GMT