Soldier admits killing policeman

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by india-juliet, Jun 21, 2006.

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  1. A Sandhurst staff sergeant has admitted killing a police officer who was escorting him in a patrol car.
    West Yorkshire-born Pc Joe Carroll, 46, died following a crash on the A69 near Hexham, Northumberland, on 13 April.

    His colleague, Insp Brian English, was also injured as they were travelling to a Newcastle police station.

    Steven Graham, 39, a communications instructor at the Royal Military College, admitted manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday.

    Graham, who is a Gulf War and Kosovo conflict veteran, denied another charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Insp English.

    Crown prosecutors said Graham's pleas were acceptable and the defendant was remanded in custody for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

    Pc Carroll's widow, Caroline, 46, said after the brief hearing that her husband had been killed because of a "selfish act."

    She said: "Steven Graham was thoughtless and foolish, and didn't think of the consequences of his actions."

    She said her husband was vibrant and fun-loving, and her hopes, dreams and plans for the future had died with him.

    Pc Carroll, who had been a community officer for 13 years and a police officer for almost 25 years, was originally from Dewsbury, West Yorks.


    The car left the A69 near Hexham in Northumberland

    The officer was described as "a real old-fashioned copper" by the chief constable of Northumbria, Mike Craik.

    He was a familiar and much-respected face on his rural beat in the village of Bellingham, Northumberland.

    He was killed as he transported Graham in his patrol car at 70mph - when the arrested man made a grab for the handbrake in a drunken attempt to escape.

    The car skidded out of control off the road, and Pc Carroll suffered fatal injuries when the car overturned.

    Pc Carroll and his wife, who worked as a teacher, lived in Gosforth, Newcastle, and had no children.

    He was born in West Yorkshire, the county where his mother Hilda and sisters Trish and Mary still live.

    He joined North Yorkshire Police where he served for two years before moving to the Northumbria force in 1984.

    Graham's barrister, Richard Bloomfield, asked for psychiatric reports to be carried out before sentencing, explaining his client had suffered trauma during his Army career.



    Mr Bloomfield said: "During the course of his career he was in the frontline artillery in the first Gulf war.

    "He served in Bosnia and Kosovo and served two terms in Northern Ireland when hostilities were live there."

    His then-girlfriend told police on the night Graham was arrested for breach of the peace that she was concerned the Army was not providing enough assistance for the trauma he had suffered, Mr Bloomfield added.

    Kingsley Hyland, prosecuting, said Graham had entered a guilty plea at the earliest possible point, and should be given credit. Judge David Hodson adjourned the case for sentencing in the week beginning 31 July.

    He told Graham: "The question will be what should be the appropriate length of that sentence."
     
  2. Let's see if we can help the editor here:


    Pc Joe Carroll received a long service medal in 2005 A Sandhurst staff sergeant has admitted killing a police officer who was escorting him in a patrol car.
    West Yorkshire-born Pc Joe Carroll, 46, died following a crash on the A69 near Hexham, Northumberland, on 13 April.

    His colleague, Insp Brian English, was also injured as they were travelling to a Newcastle police station.

    Steven Graham, 39, a communications instructor at the Royal Military College, admitted manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday.
    Graham, who is a Gulf War and Kosovo conflict veteran, denied another charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Insp English.Crown prosecutors said Graham's pleas were acceptable and the defendant was remanded in custody for the preparation of pre-sentence reports...
     
  3. I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost here. I know the story, but what are you trying to do again?
     
  4. It only received the headlines it did, because an Army SSgt was involved.

    If it had been any other 39 year old, it would have been relegated to the inside page.
     
  5. sorry speedy, I posted this before realising that India Juliet had posted it earlier. I was trying to make the point (failed terribly) that the reporting of the incident doesn't change, even if you leave out the "shock" Soldier... headline, and references to Sandhurst, etc. the story is still the same.
     
  6. I don't agree. There was that American that shot the policeman in his car after he had been arrested. That got plenty of coverage as well as the court case that followed.
     
  7. Was the PC wearing a seatbelt?
     
  8. I wasn't cheapening the crime. I'm assuming that you're refering to the case last Christmas in which an ex US Army soldier was convicted. These cases will always get plenty of coverage due to the nature of the crime, but I still don't see why his military duty is covered in such depth in the opening paragraphs. If a non-military person had been arrested for such a crime, would the media treat the reporting in the same way?
     
  9. No matter who the offender is. he caused an accident that killed a man in the line of duty.The matter that he was a S-Sgt in Army highlighted that fact.Just because you are in the Army does not mean that you can escape punishment, in fact you should receive a larger sentence for your wrong-doing.No doubt some brain dead officer will stand up in court and give a very good account on how this pathetic person was a credit to his unit and Army and that he was destined for better things.I'm glad the courts can see through some of the shi'ite some character references put to them.
     
  10. Sadly, " sentencing was adjourned while psychiatric reports where being assessed", a wiff of PTSD me thinks from his wonderful Lawyer. Anyones fault except his own! Cynical .....................too f**king right I am.
     
  11. Fellas,

    SSgt Stevie Graham is a very good friend of mine. While i do not condone his actions and have not had the full story i feel that a lot of what has been written about him is untrue! The Daily Mail among others today has some SH'ite by Nick Craven in it!!! Stevie served with me in the same Bty for years, I was his superior, he was a drinker but we all were in those days! He is a good soldier a husband and a father. I was never once let down by him nor were any of his other superiors or subordinates, The guy ran the Signals, Survey and CP Side of the Bty well and fairly. I hope that no one ever has to go through something like this again, he and his ex wives and kids will live with it for ever as will i am sure PC Carrolls Family (condolences).

    As for those who are name calling, Stones and Glass houses come to mind. :(
     
  12. What a mess! And I sympathise with all those who are involved in any way.

    I was, however, semi-amused by the way in which the cub-reporters on the radio were trying to report his rank. They couldn't make up their minds whether to call him a Sergeant or a Staff Sergeant!

    Litotes
     
  13. This case is a sad one. Notwithstanding that, I was a little saddened to see Tartan Jock using it as an opportunity to have a pop at both officers and the military system. Were we not to appoint a soldier's friend and character reference to support the accused we (in this case both ethe system and officers as a whole) I suspect tartan Jock would be amongst the first to scream about "officers not caring and abandoning their troopers to the law". TJ - we defend our own. In other circumstances we stand and die together; don't use this case as an opportunity to deny that to us all.
     
  14. None of us will know what caused him to:
    A) Go oop North and drink heavily. Only he knows the reasons for that.
    B) Why he pulled on the handbrake thus causing the car to crash, killing the PC.

    The questions I have to ask are:
    1) Why hasn't the Army medical services had more interaction with him? I base this on comments made by his girl friend.
    2) Why the hell hadn't the police handcuffed him (properly, with his hands behind his back)? This would have left him unable to do what he did and the PC would still be alive.

    All in all it is very sad. Sad for the family of the dead PC, sad for the injured PC and his family and sad, also, for SSgt Graham and his family. I would imagine that he is racked with guilt and remorse and also realises that his actions have compounded his other problems.

    It is all down to the legal system now. He needs psychiatric help. Given that he has taken a man's life and must be punished for that whatever the circumstances.

    It is pointless for anyone to name call or throw brickbats on here. IMHO we all have the potential to act the way he did. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
     
  15. Andyroo

    Perhaps they didn't handcuff him because of who/what he was. If so, they forgot he was 'in drink' and not himself.

    A great shame all round.

    W.