Special constable charged with dangerous driving

AN inspector in Suffolk's special constabulary has been charged with dangerous driving after allegedly jumping lights at a railway crossing in a police van.

Colin Adwent

AN inspector in Suffolk's special constabulary has been charged with dangerous driving after allegedly jumping lights at a railway crossing in a police van.

Earlier in the same shift Matthew Newman had been sent to attend the scene of a crash in Ipswich in which two women died. A third was left fighting for her life.

At the time of the allegation made against him, Newman was driving fellow officers, believed to have also been specials, towards Saxmundham.


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Newman, of Station Road, Leiston, was charged after being summonsed to Norwich Magistrates Court.

The indictment against the 38-year-old alleges that on February 21 at Saxmundham he drove a Mercedes Sprinter van dangerously on roads through the parishes of Marlesford, Glemham, Farnham and then on to Mill Road, Saxmundham.

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Magistrates released Newman on unconditional bail following the short hearing. No pleas have been entered at this stage.

Newman, who is employed in a civilian role as the clerk at Leiston police station, must now return to the court on July 15.

The case is then expected to be committed to Norwich Crown Court.

The charge against Newman resulted from an inquiry into a number of alleged incidents which were said to have taken place in the early hours of February 21.

One of the allegations related to red lights flashing at a level crossing, magistrates heard.

It is believed up to six other officers were in the van during the journey in question.

Earlier, Newman had been despatched to Foxhall Road in Ipswich after the deaths of pedestrians Kate Wasyluk, 25, of Irlam Road, Ipswich, and Emma Harold, 26, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, who had been in collision with a car. Miss Harold's sister Rebecca was also critically injured, but survived the crash which occurred early on February 21.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “I can confirm a 38-year-old man has been summonsed to court for dangerous driving in relation to an incident on February 21.

Newman joined Suffolk Constabulary as a Special Constable in July 1998 while he was working for a high street bank in Aldeburgh. In 2000 he became a full-time station officer for the force at Leiston police station.

Over the past 11 years has worked his way up to the rank of Special Inspector and is in charge of the Special sergeants and constables in his sector.

As Specials are a volunteer force, Newman is not currently under suspension.

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