United Kingdom

PC turned on siren and drove through red light before crash at 80mph as he dashed home for his TEA 

After a tiring 12-hour shift, PC John Byrne was looking forward to his dinner.

So when his wife sent him a picture of what she had made for him, the hungry officer didn’t hang about.

Unfortunately, he was in a bit too much of a hurry, turning on the blue lights on his patrol vehicle and accelerating to 80mph – double the speed limit for the built-up area through which he was travelling.

PC John Byrne drove on blue lights at 80mph running a red light before crashing into another car in Menlove Avenue (pictured) in Liverpool. PC Byrne will keep his job at Merseyside Police

He drove through a red light and then crashed his police car into another car in south Liverpool.

Last month the 28-year-old officer – who served as a royal guardsman in the RAF before joining Merseyside Police – was banned from the roads.

But yesterday it emerged that he is to keep his job, albeit with a final written warning. 

A police disciplinary hearing found he had breached professional standards but not to the extent that his actions merited his dismissal.

At Manchester Crown Court, PC Byrne, of St Helens, admitted dangerous driving and was banned for 12 months and handed a 12-month community order. 

‘Tired and hungry’ PC Byrne activated the blue lights of his police vehicle and sped through south Liverpool after his wife sent him a picture of his tea, the court heard.

The officer - who the court was told had not eaten all day - said he had been on a 12-hour shift on November 2 last year tackling gun crime in the city and still faced another two hours of paperwork before he could finish.

His Hyundai had reached a speed of 80mph in a 40mph zone and been driven through a red light before it smashed into a BMW, the hearing was told.

PC John Byrne was handed a community order at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to one count of dangerous driving. He was also banned from the roads for 12 months

Moments earlier PC Byrne, who had been part of the Queen’s Colour Squadron during his time in the RAF, had been challenged by his partner after switching the lights on ‘without having proper reason to do so’.

Defending him at court, Richard Orme said: ‘He’s never done it before and bitterly regrets his decision.

‘The only reason he did it was due to the fact that in November last year his marriage was under a considerable amount of strain.

‘He and his wife are now in counselling through their church.’

PC Byrne must also carry out 40 hours of unpaid work, pay £355 prosecution costs and pass an extended driving test before he is allowed back on the roads. 

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