A Victoria Police officer charged with endangering life after he drove faster than 200 kilometres per hour to a crash involving a colleague was “justified”, according to his lawyer, who has blasted the “extraordinary” case.
- John Bradley Beecroft was responding to a report that other officers had been injured
- His lawyers argue the speed was justified given the urgency of the situation
- He holds a Gold licence, allowing him to drive at unrestricted speeds
Leading Senior Constable John Bradley Beecroft appeared in the Wangaratta Magistrates’ Court, where he is accused of multiple offences, including dangerous driving, over an incident near Euroa last year.
The court heard that Leading Senior Constable Beecroft, who is a 16-year veteran of the force’s Highway Patrol Unit, was on the Hume Freeway when he was called to attend a crash where other officers had been struck.
Defence lawyer James Anderson told the court the highway patrol officer urgently responded.
“He travelled in circumstances where he believed he might be met with police officers in a critical condition or worse, and where time was of the essence,” Mr Anderson said.
“He was interviewed by the police and he said that his driving he considered safe and reasonable given the urgency of the situation.”
Mr Anderson told the court that Leading Senior Constable Beecroft’s partner, a 45-year veteran of the Highway Patrol Unit, agreed.
The court was told that Leading Senior Constable Beecroft holds a “Gold” licence, which is the highest tier available to police officers and allows them to drive at unrestricted speeds.
“It’s a somewhat extraordinary case in which to bring this charge,” Mr Anderson said.
“Mr Beecroft is charged essentially with conduct endangering life given the speed at which he was travelling, but that speed is justified by him on the basis that he was travelling to a critical situation.”
The police officer will return to court in June.