Afghanistan War veteran hit with fine after tailgating and overtaking cop

An Afghanistan War veteran has been hit with a GBP550 fine after he tailgated and overtook an off-duty policeman while driving ‘aggressively’. Ex-army corporal Jamie Keen, 31, got up close behind the officer’s vehicle then pulled out to overtake after they were caught behind an articulated lorry on the Woodhead Pass in the Peak District. Keen, who was driving an Audi A5 TDI Quattro, pulled in front of the officer’s unmarked car before overtaking the truck.

The officer, who was with a colleague, noted down the registration number of the Audi as was it breaching a continuous white line along the A628 between Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire, which is littered with blind bends. At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Keen from Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancashire – who completed five tours of Afghanistan in 14 years – admitted careless driving after his not guilty plea to the more serious charge of dangerous driving was accepted. He was also ordered to pay costs and surcharges of GBP405, but escaped a road ban after saying he needed his driving licence so he could expand his new freight delivery business, which boasts Amazon as a client.

Keen left the armed forces in May.

Jamie Keen

The court earlier heard the incident happened on May 28 after officers noticed Keen’s Audi while travelling behind the HGV. Prosecutor Lucy Garside said: “Off duty officers were driving in the direction of Sheffield and officers became aware of a blue Audi travelling close behind them.

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“The road they were travelling down had a long stretch of white lines travelling down the centre to prevent any overtaking, there are severe blind bends on that road.  “The officer explains he was travelling behind a heavy goods vehicle whilst they were travelling along that road.

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“The Audi overtook them crossing to the opposite side of the road to make that manoeuvre.

The Audi then pulled in front of the officers to pull behind the heavy goods vehicle. “They saw the Audi again contravene the white lines to overtake that lorry they videoed the Audi as they believed the manner of driving should be noted.” Defence barrister Charlotte Johnson said: “On the footage the officer seems to say just before Mr Keen makes the manoeuvre and you will hear ‘he’ll go here because it is clear’.

“There were no pedestrians on that road at that time there was no excessive speed, no collision, no injury and no damage done. “Mr Keen is 31-years-old and he served as a corporal in the armed forces for the last four years he had to leave due to an injury whilst he was on tour, he did five tours in Afghanistan in the 14 years.

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“Since leaving the armed forces he has started a company with one of his colleagues a logistics company which he has started for 11 months. There are 75 people who are employed by them they have at the moment one main client who is Amazon.

“Mr Keen and his business partner are working seven days a week their job requires a significant amount of driving they are going to expand in December, currently the company works right from Scotland to London and further. “He is willing to accept he contravenes the white lines. It is not something he intends to do again at all – his license means a lot to him.”

Sentencing JPs also endorsed Keen’s driving licence with three penalty points.

They told him: “We see this as aggressive driving.”

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