PC Mike Silcock case, heard in Manchester Crown Court 25/1/2011

“The death of PC Mike Silcock has been a tragedy for the victim, his family, the police force and the community at large. My client, Stephen Benson, is truly sorry that his actions contributed to this.

Mr Benson never intended to cause any harm to PC Silcock, his death was an unfortunate consequence of other incidental criminal behaviour.

I am satisfied that the sentence imposed for the offence of causing death by careless driving, reflects the nature of the incident far more accurately than the dangerous driving charge initially laid and the murder allegation Mr. Benson was originally arrested for.

Notwithstanding, I do feel that this case has dragged on for far longer than necessary due the over-zealous manner of the investigation, in particular, the attempt to charge my client with murder or dangerous driving. These charges had to be fought as they were not appropriate to the facts and consequently lengthened the process. This is unfair to both the family of the victim and the accused.

I understand the pressures on the police to secure convictions for the most serious offences in such circumstances, but this has to be weighed against the prospect of conviction, the cost to the tax payer and the duration of the proceedings which has significant implications for the family and those accused awaiting their fate.”