A POLICE officer has been convicted of causing death by careless driving, believing at first he had been cleared of all charges.

During confusing scenes West Mercia PC Jamie Holloway thought he had been cleared when the jury returned a not guilty verdict on causing death by dangerous driving.

The officer immediately broke down in tears and was given permission to leave the dock at Worcester Crown Court earlier this afternoon. There was also sobbing from family and friends in the public gallery.

However, though he was acquitted of the more serious charge, the jury had not been asked about an alternative count of causing death by careless driving following the fatal crash on the A449 between Worcester and Kidderminster.

The judge had discretion in law to allow the jury to correct its verdict after the misunderstanding which was the course he ultimately took as the jury had not yet been discharged.

Judge Nicolas Cartwight, also the trial judge, said: "I have never had this happen to me before."

After legal discussions in the absence of the jury, the 50-year-old defendant returned to court. The foreman then repeated a not guilty verdict to causing death by dangerous driving and a guilty verdict by majority decision to the lesser count of causing death by careless driving.

Holloway drove into the rear of David Shaw’s Ford Fiesta, at 2.51pm on May 28 2018, a bank holiday, causing Mr Shaw, 53, catastrophic injuries. He died on June 10.

The police officer had been travelling northbound at speeds up to 110mph responding to an emergency call from colleagues when he crashed into another car en route, fatally injuring its driver.

Experienced West Mercia police constable Jamie Holloway, a qualified advanced driver and trained firearms officer, went into the back of his car, causing it to flip twice and land on its roof.

Mr Shaw, who had been in a queue of traffic travelling at 37mph, was signalling and moving right as he was struck by Holloway’s unmarked BMW X5, which was on blue lights and sirens and travelling well above the road’s 50mph speed limit.

A collision investigator calculated that the police 4×4’s brakes were applied 1.5 seconds, or 60 metres before the crash, when it was travelling at 103mph.

At the point of impact, the police vehicle was doing 75mph, after heavy braking.

Holloway told investigators he was responding to an incident where he had “heard panic” in the voices of his colleagues.

The officer said that he “considered there to be an immediate risk to life”, and “therefore believed his driving was necessary and proportionate”.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright apologised over the incident involving the jury. "My Holloway, I'm genuinely sorry about that" he said.

The sentence hearing was adjourned until Thursday, September 23. Holloway was granted unconditional bail. No interim disqualification was made. The judge directed that a pre-sentence report be prepared and a psychiatric report has also been requested by the defence. Victim personal statements will also be prepared ahead of the hearing.