A veteran cop whose motorcycle collided with another
officer's during police motorbike training has pleaded guilty
to a charge of careless driving.
Sergeant Mark Moody, who has more than 30 years' police
experience, had been riding in formation with a police
motorcycle convoy when the crash happened in rural Carterton
on January 22 last year.
Moody and another officer were injured in the crash.
Moody was then charged by police with careless use of a
motorcycle causing injury.
He pleaded guilty to the charge before Judge Tom Broadmore at
Wellington District Court this morning.
He was disqualified from driving for a month.
Moody had been taking part in a two-day police motorcycle
re-certification course run by an instructor from the Royal
College of Police when the crash occurred.
Seven officers and the instructor had been riding in convoy
in a staggered formation from Ohakea in the central North
Island towards Wellington.
They had already been riding for six hours that day, and one
and half hours without a break, when Moody crashed into the
back of the bike of the lead rider - who had slowed down for
Moody and another officer in the convoy had previously made
separate requests using police radio for a break.
The instructor, who was riding at the rear of the formation,
had indicated there would be a stop, but failed to notify all
the officers where and when it would be.
Moody's lawyer, Letizea Ord, today referred to two
investigation reports into the incident, undertaken by police
and an expert on behalf of the defence, which noted the long
riding period, absence of stops and lack of communication to
the wider riding group regarding the stop which led to the
crash contributed to the incident.
Judge Broadmore convicted Moody and disqualified him from
driving for one month.
Moody accepted responsibility for the accidents and deeply
regretted injuries caused to his fellow officer", Ms Ord
Both Moody, 51, and the other officer required hospital
treatment for injuries caused in the accident.
The second officer involved was still having physiotherapy
treatment on his left hand, which was injured in the
accident. He also had concussion, chest contusions, bruising
and hurt his right hip.
Ms Ord said Moody's injuries had required at least three
months off work. He also underwent a hip joint replacement
operation in August last year due to his injuries.
In addition to highlighting criticism of the instructor's
decisions by the two reports into the accident, Ms Ord noted
the formation taken by the riders when the accident occurred
had not been ideal.
The convoy had slowed to about 60km/h when the lead rider,
who was to the right of the formation, pulled to the left for
a stop after a shallow bend in the road.
Moody, who was to the left of the formation, collided with
the lead rider's bike.
"When riding through multiple corners, such as in the
Wairarapa, the group formation of one behind the other with a
legal following would have been preferable to avoid the known
risk of a nose to tail crash," Ms Ord said.
Police prosecutor Mark Wilton also responded to submissions
made by Ms Ord criticising the police for charging her client
as the investigation reports showed faults in the instructors
handling of the convoy, which the police were ultimately
Mr Wilton said the police prosecution service operated
autonomously from police.
- By Matthew Backhouse and Teuila Fuatai of APNZ