Policeman tried for dangerous driving

Policeman tried for dangerous driving

A police officer said he was shocked to see his colleague riding past a motorcyclist who then crashed.

PC Thomas McLeod, 30, claimed he was a passenger in a police van driven by Constable Colin McLaren, 30, at Govan in Glasgow on September 5, 2019.

The couple were looking for someone who might have stolen a motorcycle.

The witness told Glasgow Sheriff Court that McLaren veered across the road as the motorbike approached them.

PC McLeod said the motorcycle lurched twice and skidded before the rider lost his balance.

McLaren denies a charge of dangerous driving.

The prosecution says he drove the van onto the opposite roadway into the path of an oncoming motorcycle driven by Daniel Harley, with both vehicles damaged and Mr Harley injured.

McLaren faces a separate charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

It is claimed that he did not provide information to colleagues, including a sergeant.

The prosecution alleges McLaren told them that Mr Harley was driving on the opposite carriageway without headlights and that he activated the blue lights to alert him to his presence.

He goes on to state that McLaren claimed he had to swerve into the opposite carriageway to avoid colliding with him.

PC McLeod told the court in evidence that the motorcycle “allegedly stolen” was driven in a dangerous manner.

He claimed they lost sight of the biker near Elder Park, but McLaren then alerted him he was on the road.

PC McLeod said: ‘Our police vehicle veered into the opposite carriageway.

“My attention was drawn to the oncoming vehicle.

“The bike made a small right turn and then a big left turn.

“The bike overturned and slid and came to rest in front of our vehicle.”

The witness adds that he saw the bicycle “slip”.

Prosecutor Lauren Sangray asked if the police sirens were on and the witness replied, “I don’t believe they were on at the time.”

He added that the blue lights were turned on after the collision.

Ms Sangray asked: ‘If you were told the motorbike was in the middle of the road, would you be okay with that?’

PC McLeod replied, “No.”

The witness said he had “no knowledge” that McLaren was going to move to the other lane.

Ms. Sangray asked what was going through her mind at the time.

He replied, “It was a bit of a shock at first.”

The witness claimed he got out of the car and attended to Mr Harley who was upset and complained of back pain.

The PC said he could not remember if the motorcycle had its headlights on.

He added that the police van suffered no damage.

PC McLeod told the court that the police report into the incident was primarily drawn up by McLaren.

Ms Sangray referred to the report in which McLeod allegedly said: ‘While observing this vehicle, Officer McLaren activated the blue lights and siren.’

The witness claimed he believed this to be true at the time, but watching CCTV said ‘it was not so’.

It emerged that PC McLaren was PC McLeod’s tutor.

The latter had only five months of service at the time of the incident.

Murdo Macleod QC, defending, said: “PC McLaren not looking for excitement or chase?”

PC McLeod replied, “From what I remember he had some interest in traffic policing, but that could have been due to a number of motivations.”

Mr Macleod asked: ‘Do you remember him saying at any point that the motorbike was on the opposite carriageway?

PC McLeod replied: “I may have heard it after the incident but not before.”

It was admitted that McLaren said “it’s the vehicle” in one form or another during a “fast moving situation”.

The trial continues tomorrow before Sheriff Allan McKay.

About Todd Wurtsbach

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