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U.K. police officer busted for driving at 159 mph

A U.K. police officer was found guilty of driving at 159 mph after he was ordered to face a re-trial over the speeding charge.
/ Source: Reuters

A British traffic police officer was found guilty of driving at 159 mph after he was ordered to face a re-trial over the speeding charge.

However police constable Mark Milton was only given an absolute discharge after being convicted of dangerous driving at Ludlow magistrates court, Shropshire.

That means Milton will face no punishment. The verdict, however, counts as a criminal conviction.

Milton, a qualified advanced driver, was recorded in December 2003, by an onboard camera in his upgraded unmarked Vauxhall Vectra police car travelling at 91 mph in a 30 mph zone and hitting 159 mph on the M54 motorway where the top speed is 70 mph.

He was originally acquitted of the offense in May 2005 after a judge accepted his defense that he had taken the car on a test run to familiarize himself with it.

However the case was referred to the High Court after a challenge by the attorney general amid condemnation from motoring groups and the media.

Justice Heather Hallett at the High Court ruled that the lower court judge had erred and that the case should be referred back for a fresh hearing.

“Driving at those speeds on public roads without any warning in conditions no matter how good, and no matter what the skills of the driver, amounted to dangerous driving,” said Hallett.

Milton’s lawyer said at that time the case could have wide ramifications for the way police forces train their pursuit drivers.

“You can’t sensibly practice high-speed driving on roads by driving around in circles on an airfield or a car park,” said David Twigg.