Shocking footage of police officer smashing car into family vehicle at twice the speed limit, seriously injuring mother

1 September 2023, 19:10 | Updated: 1 September 2023, 23:23

Prosecutors release footage of speeding police officer crashing into family car

By Kit Heren

Horrific footage shows a police officer crashing his car into a family vehicle while driving over twice the speed limit, seriously hurting a mother of two.

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PC Harry Chaplin was going at 81mph in a 30mph zone when he smashed into the car of Patrick Mulqueen, who was driving with his wife Claire and their two young children.

Ms Mulqueen was knocked unconscious and suffered a bleed on the brain. Her husband had cuts and bruises, while the children were also bruised.

PC Chaplin, who was responding to a road traffic accident in the Dorset town of Weymouth, was given eight points on his licence. He was also fined, but escaped a driving ban.

The court was shown the dashcam footage of the victim's car being overtaken firstly by a police car with its blue lights flashing and siren on being driven by another officer, Pc Derek Alexander.

Read more: Police driver who followed Cardiff teenagers moments before they crashed and died now under criminal investigation

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The vehicle collided with the family car at more than twice the speed limit
The vehicle collided with the family car at more than twice the speed limit. Picture: PA Video

The video then shows the Honda Civic, with its indicator light flashing, turning right and being hit by Chaplin's police vehicle, also with its blue lights and siren on, knocking it on to its side.

Nicholas Cotter, prosecuting, told the court that Chaplin had been driving at between 73mph and 81mph in the 30mph zone - which he said was "excessive" for the residential area even when responding to an accident.

Chaplin, of Weymouth, was originally charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, but the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.

Sentencing Chaplin, Judge Angela Morris said: "The speed you travelled was a serious error of judgment by you."

The police car colliding
The police car colliding. Picture: PA Video

She fined the defendant £307, ordered him to pay a £123 surcharge and £500 compensation to the family.

The judge said that she would not disqualify Chaplin from driving because he was "driving towards a serious RTA and not simply exceeding the speed limit".

She instead imposed eight penalty points on his driving licence.

Ailsa Williamson, defending, said that Chaplin, who was a "highly regarded" officer, had offered to meet the victims to discuss how the accident happened as a form of restorative justice.

The family car was smashed to the side
The family car was smashed to the side. Picture: PA Video

Ms Williamson explained that analysis showed he should have been travelling at 11mph slower in order to have been able to stop in time.

She added: "He was responding to an emergency road traffic accident and it's a case where he has made an error of judgment as to the speed he was travelling but doing so while fulfilling his policing duties to the best of his ability."

Pc Alexander was also initially charged in connection with the accident but the charges were later dropped by the CPS.

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