IOPC makes referral to CPS in Gateshead fatal road traffic incident investigation

Published: 09 Jan 2024

Following an investigation into the actions of a Northumbria Police officer prior to a fatal road traffic incident in Gateshead, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has referred a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for consideration of criminal charges.

The IOPC started an investigation after a collision involving a police vehicle and a motorbike occurred just after 3pm on Friday 8 July 2022. The rider and passenger were struck by a marked police car on Dunston Road, near the Metrocentre.

Sadly, the female passenger on the motorbike, Muriel Pinkney, 74, died in hospital on Sunday 17 July 2022. The male rider was taken to hospital after sustaining multiple fractures to his leg, hip, and pelvis. He has since continued to recover from his injuries.

Our investigation followed a referral from Northumbria Police after IOPC investigators attended the scene of the collision to begin gathering evidence. The driver of the vehicle, a police constable, was subsequently interviewed under criminal caution for potential driving offences and was also served with a notice of investigation for gross misconduct.

A large amount of investigative work has been carried out since the collision which included Northumbria Police completing the forensic collision investigation report which was later peer reviewed by another force.

IOPC Regional Director Emily Barry said: “Following thorough and careful analysis of all the evidence, we have decided there is an indication an officer may have committed a criminal offence in relation to the manner of their driving and a file has been referred to the CPS.

“I am satisfied we have gathered all the available evidence and it is now for the CPS to consider whether to bring criminal charges.

“Our thoughts remain with Mrs Pinkney’s family and all those affected. We will remain in contact with the family to keep them updated.”

A referral to the CPS is made when the IOPC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed. It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow. The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought, based on the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

We have also decided there is a case to answer for gross misconduct, which the force has agreed with and a disciplinary hearing will be arranged at a later date.

  • Northumbria Police
  • Road traffic incidents