Speeding Policeman Caused Lifelong Harm to Teen

A court heard that a police officer who was on duty and speeding through a 30mph zone at 61mph hurt a teen so badly that he will never be the same.

On Boxing Day, 2020, a 15-year-old girl named Khia Whitehead was hit by a police car driven by Pc Sarah De Meulemeester. She was on her way to an emergency call when she hit Whitehead.

He was hurt very badly, and he needs care around the clock.

Pc De Meulemeester, who was 26 and worked at the Cheadle Heath police station for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), was found guilty of causing serious harm by dangerous driving at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.

As a basic-level police driver, she had to follow all speed limits and couldn’t use the legal exemptions that are open to police drivers with more training.

Three Cops Looked Into It

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) looked into how three officers who were reacting to a report of a man with a knife in a domestic situation drove. The referral came from the General Police Service (GPS).

Three police cars, including Pc. De Meulemeester’s, left the station at the same time to go to the scene of the accident.

When word came over the radio that a knife was being used, another cop who had been trained and given permission to drive faster than the speed limit passed PC De Meulemeester’s car and turned on the emergency lights.

The tweet below verifies the news:

The police car’s speed data showed that PC De Meulemeester slowed down a little at first to let her partner pass, but then she picked up her speed again.

She went more than twice as fast as the law allows while following the other car.

She told detectives at first that she was driving at “normal road speed” and wouldn’t answer any more questions about how or why she was driving that way.

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“Held Responsible for What She Did”

On Garners Lane in Stockport, Pc. De Meulemeester passed a car driven by a member of the public. As a result, he drove on the wrong side of a traffic island and hit Khia as he was crossing the street.

After the IOPC sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which approved a charge of causing serious harm by dangerous driving, Pc. De Meulemeester was brought to court.

On May 19, she will be given a sentence.

Catherine Bates, the regional head of the IOPC, said, “This event has ruined Khia and his family’s lives, and the last few years have been very hard for them.

“The fact that PC De Meulemeester was reacting to an emergency doesn’t make up for the dangerous things he did to Khia, who was just trying to cross the street.”

“Her conviction won’t take away the trouble he and his family have had to go through and will continue to go through, but our independent investigation made sure that the officer who did it was held responsible for what she did.”

The IOPC said that Pc De Meulemeester and another cop, whose actions were also being looked into, were guilty of gross misconduct in the way they drove before the crash.

The IOPC said that it will be up to GMP to set up punishment hearings when the time comes.

GMP has been asked for their opinion.

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