MPS officer guilty of perverting the course of justice

A serving Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Jun 22, 2021
By Tony Thompson

Police Constable Donna Coker, a response officer from the West Area Command Unit, “tailored her statement” following a police collision at the junction of Uxbridge Road and Dane Road in Ealing in August 2017.

PC Varinder Sehmi, an authorised police driver attached to the West Area Command Unit,  was driving towards the junction with Dane Road in response to an emergency call when the front of the police car collided with a vehicle. A member of the public received serious injuries as a result.

The incident was immediately reported to the Department of Professional Standards (DPS) and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The jury heard how all officers who attended the incident, including PC Coker, were asked to write a statement. A DPS officer noticed a number of inconsistencies in PC Coker’s statement and that of one other officer. This was flagged to the investigation team. A full review took place and PC Coker was charged with perverting the course of justice in June 2020. No further action was taken against the other officer.

The Serious Collision Investigation Unit commenced an investigation regarding PC Sehmi who was found guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and given a two-year driving ban. The MPS said the officer may still face disciplinary action.

Chief Superintendent Peter Gardner, the West Area BCU commander, said: “We take any case of perverting the course of justice very seriously, not least when the individual in question is a serving police officer. The jury heard how PC Coker tailored her statement to try and absolve PC Sehmi of any wrongdoing, which goes directly against what we stand for as an organisation. We will continue to ensure officers are acting to the highest degree of professionalism and where they fall short we will be swift to investigate this. Misconduct proceedings will now follow and we await the outcome of that.”

PC Coker was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on Monday (June 21). She will be sentenced next month.

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