Officer faces jail after telling girlfriend to lie about his speeding
A police officer who told his girlfriend to lie to investigators so he could avoid being prosecuted for speeding is facing prison.
Richard Hammond, 36, was caught speeding over Tower Bridge as he drove home from a shift as a specialist firearms officer with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in his then-partner Vicky Courtis’s car at 6am on August 26, 2018.
Inner London Crown Court heard on Friday (February 17) that he persuaded her to tell investigators she could not be sure who was driving her Fiat 500 as it passed through a 20mph zone at 30mph.
A jury was told that, shortly after receiving a notice telling him he would be prosecuted, he instructed Ms Courtis to contact his force and “say you don’t know who was driving” in an attempt to thwart the investigation so he could save his career.
He previously denied doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice, but was found guilty earlier this month.
At a sentencing hearing, Hammond stood in the dock wearing a grey long-sleeved top and a black face mask and spoke only to confirm his name.
Addressing Judge Maya Sikand, prosecutor Obi Mgbokwere, said: “The defendant initiated a false story. It was about one minute and 20 seconds after he received the notice of intended prosecution that he then sent that message.
“The defendant instructed Vicky Courtis to write to the process team and each time she wrote to the process team she sought his approval. The prosecution submits that the defendant’s instruction was intended to cause her to act to her own detriment.
“He created an elaborate, false story which he maintained for three years from August 29, 2018 until the trial in September of this year. He was motivated by a selfish end.”
Hammond joined the MPS in 2011 and became a specialist firearms officer in 2017.
Benjamin Summers, mitigating, told the court the offence was “a once-in-a-lifetime event” and there was “a realistic prospect of rehabilitation”.
He presented a medical report stating that Hammond suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and was at risk of suicide, adding: “A custodial sentence will make his condition much worse.”
He said the still-serving officer has since married and has a young daughter, and that “by imposing an immediate custodial sentence there will be a harmful impact which is significant – the loss of income and a parent”.
Judge Sikand ordered a pre-sentence report to consider the option of a suspended sentence, and adjourned the case until October 15.
Hammond was released on unconditional bail.