Driver jailed for killing PCSO during 105mph chase after taking cocaine
A dangerous driver has been jailed for nine years for killing a Police Community Support Officer during a 105mph chase after smoking cocaine.
Darren Ogom led officers on a 14-minute pursuit – driving through three red lights, on the wrong side of the road and hitting the central reservation on January 22.
Police deployed a stinger device to try to stop him but Ogom continued and collided with PCSO Holly Burke’s vehicle at the Hagley Road junction in Bearwood, West Midlands, the CPS said.
The 28-year-old, who was off-duty at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ogom, of Longdales Road in Kings Norton, admitted smoking crack cocaine less than two hours earlier, and was beckoned to pull over by officers at around 11.25pm after they became suspicious.
He was not insured to drive the car – his partner’s Renault Megane Scenic – and only had a provisional licence.
The 42-year-old was clocked at speeds of 90mph in a 50mph zone and 70mph in a 30mph area.
The pursuit was abandoned at 11.40pm but a police dog unit spotted the car travelling towards Hagley Road, before it crashed into the driver’s side of Ms Burke’s Ford Fiesta.
Ogom was taken to hospital after being found slumped across the passenger seat and after treatment he was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and driving a motor vehicle without insurance or a licence.
He admitted all charges and was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, as well as being banned from driving for 16 years, West Midlands Police said.
Judge Melbourne Inman QC described Ogom as a dangerous offender who posed a serious risk to the public.
Nicola Heath from the CPS said: “This is a shocking case where the offender failed to stop for 15 minutes and continued to drive dangerously by putting road users at risk.
“The offender also admitted to having smoked crack cocaine earlier in the evening which increased the seriousness of the offence. In addition to this, CCTV footage of the incident was also presented by the CPS to reflect the seriousness and assist the court in considering a higher sentence.
“As a result, the offender will now face the consequences of his actions. My sympathies are with the family and friends of the victim.”
Detective Sergeant Alan Wood, from West Midlands Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a shocking case of dangerous driving and one that ended with the devastating death of a much-loved member of our policing family.
“Ogom put many other road users and pedestrians in danger that night and he had plenty of time to consider his actions, pull over and bring the matter to a safe conclusion.
“Our thoughts remain with Holly’s family and friends at this time.”
Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, Birmingham East commander, said: “No outcome at court could ever compensate for the devastating and tragic loss of a life that Darren Ogom was responsible for.
“I hope he takes the time to consider what he has taken away from Holly’s family and friends, from the communities that Holly was so proud to work in, and from the wider West Midlands Police family.
“We’ve been really grateful for the response from the community, who have been sharing their experiences working with Holly, and we continue to keep her family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts.”