Met police officer who tried to dodge speeding ticket avoids jail
PC, 36, who was shopped to police by his angry ex-girlfriend for trying to dodge a speeding ticket and get her to ‘take the points’ avoids jail
- PC Richard Hammond pressured drama teacher Vicky Courtis into lying
- He was clocked speeding in her Fiat 500 over Tower Bridge in August 2018
- The Met Police firearms officer told her to say she did not know who was driving
- Hammond, of West Kensington, London, was given 18-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, 250 hours’ unpaid work and 15 days’ rehab activity
A police officer who was shopped by his ex-girlfriend for trying to dodge a speeding ticket has been given an 18-month suspended sentence.
PC Richard Hammond, 36, had pressured drama teacher Vicky Courtis into lying about the driving offence over fears a conviction could affect his career.
Hammond, a firearms officer in the Met Police, was clocked speeding in her Fiat 500 over Tower Bridge in August 2018 and told Ms Courtis to say she did not know who was driving.
Ms Courtis said Hammond later told her to ‘take the points’ if she loved him, Inner London Crown Court heard.
PC Richard Hammond (in foreground), 36, who was shopped by his ex-girlfriend for trying to dodge a speeding ticket, has been given an 18-month suspended sentence. He had pressured drama teacher Vicky Courtis into lying about the driving offence over fears a conviction could affect his career
Hammond claimed Ms Courtis and another woman invented the allegations against him out of spite, but he was convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Ms Courtis insisted she was being truthful when she made her report to police on Valentine’s Day 2019.
Texts recovered from Hammond’s phone revealed he had borrowed the car to drive to and from work, while Ms Courtis was attending a Britney Spears concert.
Hammond was arrested for perverting the course of justice while on a specialist police driving course in the Midlands.
He had told police he was unsure at the time about who was driving and claimed Ms Courtis would sometimes give him a lift to work.
When Obi Mgbokwere, prosecuting, asked him how he could not remember who the driver was, he said he could not even remember what he was doing two days before.
He told the court he was ‘exhausted from working 12-hour shifts’ and it felt like ‘jet lag’.
When Ms Courtis received the speeding ticket, Hammond told the police he did not know who the driver was.
‘The jury disbelieved you,’ said the judge Ms Recorder Maya Sikand.
‘You were a highly valued member of your firearms team which you joined in 2017.
Hammond, a firearms officer in the Met Police, was clocked speeding in her Fiat 500 over Tower Bridge (file image) in August 2018 and told Ms Courtis to say she did not know who was driving
‘I’m aware of your commendation in the line of duty…I accept that this offending is a fall from grace.’
She said Hammond told a mental health specialist he was in a ‘unique team’ within the police force that was ‘the second highest in Europe’ and now ‘feels finished’.
‘I’m heartbroken to be out of this forever,’ he said.
Hammond will lose his job on October 28 at a fast-tracked disciplinary procedure.
Benjamin Summers, defending, said a suspended sentence would be a ‘just outcome’.
He said a prison sentence would have a ‘significant impact’ on his wife and young child.
Hammond is receiving mental health treatment for pre-existing PTSD.
‘Where there are genuine and real mental health issues, prison is not where those mental health issues should and can be properly addressed,’ said Mr Summers.
Hammond, from West Kensington, denied but was convicted by a jury of perverting the course of justice.
He appeared in court supported by his wife and several members of the police service and wore a grey shirt and jeans.
Mr Summers said: ‘You know he has served the public as a police officer in excess of a decade and most recently as a firearms officer.
‘He is now married and has a child and has no previous convictions. If one looks at the conduct, this was a brief episode.
‘This is not someone who needs to be out on the straight and narrow, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
He also spoke of Hammond’s ‘realistic path to rehabilitation’.
‘There is strong personal mitigation, a loss of good character, and the impact it has on the loss of his career, which is inevitable.’
Hammond, of West Kensington, London, was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, 250 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation activity. He must also pay costs of £2,500.
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