A Kings Norton man has been jailed for causing the death of an off duty West Midlands Police PCSO by dangerous driving.
Darren Ogom from Longdales Road admitted smoking crack cocaine less than two hours before the Hagley Road collision which killed 28 year old PCSO Holly Burke on 22nd January.
Ogom (42) was jailed for 9 years by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court today (Thursday 21st February).
Ogom was driving his partner’s Renault Megane in Erdington at 11.25pm on 22nd January when police officers beckoned to him to pull over.
The uninsured and unqualified driver sped off and was pursued through the city by police, driving at speeds over 100mph on the A38(M). Ogom was also registered hitting 90mph in a 50 zone and 70mph on 30 limit residential roads.
14 minutes after the pursuit began, it was abandoned by officers after Ogom hit a central reservation and ended up careering towards oncoming traffic in Tollhouse Way, Smethwick.
However, a dog unit spotted the Megane travelling at 70mph in Bearwood High Street two minutes later.
Ogom accelerated through another red light, at the Hagley Road junction, colliding with the driver’s side of Holly’s Ford Fiesta.
It is understood that the 28 year old died instantly, due to the speed of impact.
After the collision, Ogom was found slumped across the passenger seat of the Megane. He received treatment in hospital before being charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and driving a motor vehicle without insurance or a licence.
In police interview he claimed to have panicked and sped off as he didn’t want police to seize his wife’s car – but admitted he had every opportunity to pull over and that his judgement may have been clouded through drug use.
Today, Ogom admitted all charges and was jailed for nine years, of which he will serve six behind bars, and given a driving ban of 16 years. The judge ruled he was a dangerous offender who posed a serious risk to the public, so ordered that he remain on licence for a further three years at the end of the nine-year period.
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.”
Ch Supt 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.”
At the time of her death, many tributes were made for Holly, who was a popular “always smiling” member of the Washwood Heath Neighbourhood Police team.
Our condolences go out to Holly’s family, friends and work colleagues for their loss at this sad time. She attended many events with us. 🚓🚒🚓 pic.twitter.com/gBoupcKhQd
— Ward End Fire (@WardEndFire) 23 January 2019