Former police authority chairman guilty of perverting the course of justice

IN COURT: Dave McLuckie
IN COURT: Dave McLuckie

A FORMER police authority chairman has been convicted of persuading a friend to take three penalty points for him so he avoided a driving ban and furthered his career.

Dave McLuckie, who was Cleveland Police Authority chairman, was convicted of perverting the course of justice following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

It can now be revealed that McLuckie, 52, has also been charged with witness intimidation and will be back in court on Friday.

In 2005, when McLuckie was still vice-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority and about to take on the senior role, he asked family friend Maurice Ward to take three penalty points for him after his black Peugeot was caught by a speed camera doing 36mph in a 30mph zone at Carlin How, Cleveland.

McLuckie, a member of Redcar and Cleveland Council who works at a potash mine, already had nine points on his licence and was facing a ban after the latest offence.

Instead, he visited his friend who lived nearby in Skelton, Cleveland, and asked him for a “big favour” and to take the blame, the jury was told.

The deception came to light after Mr Ward fell out with McLuckie when he became ill with cancer and felt his former friend had not visited him enough.

Mr Ward, who died in January last year, wrote a note saying he had taken the points for the authority chairman.

After his death, Mr Ward’s daughter Donna contacted a councillor who took the matter to the police and McLuckie, from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, was arrested.

He denied perverting the course of justice, but was convicted after a week-long trial.

Before the jury was sent out, officers behind the Operation Sacristy investigation into alleged corruption at Cleveland Police revealed McLuckie had been charged with intimidating a witness last month.

He will appear at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

During the trial, McLuckie claimed the speeding points allegation was driven by malice.

He accepted he might well have been driving the car, but he had discussed the matter with Mr Ward and they had agreed his friend had been driving the car at the time.