A police officer’s son was spared jail time after killing two pedestrians while driving under the influence of marijuana.
18-year-old Max Coopey was driving his parents’ Audi in Sunninghill, Berkshire, in August last year when he hit 48-year-old father-of-three Jason Imi, and his colleague, 61-year-old John Shackley.
Coopey was arrested, and found to have 3.3mcg of cannabis in his blood; more than twice the legal limit.
At the time of the incident, Coopey was awaiting a court appearance after being pulled over by police for bad driving in June 2018, when he was found to have 5.7 microgrammes of cannabis in his system. However, that didn’t deter him from doing it again in August.
The teenager appeared in Reading Youth Magistrates Court in January, where the court heard he had smoked cannabis with friends before taking them for a drive in the flashy car near the £1 million family home in Ascot, Berkshire.
Coopey explained he’d smoked for ‘four or five hours’ before getting behind the wheel, and claimed he didn’t think it had impaired his driving.
According to The Sun, an investigation by Thames Valley Police concluded Coopey’s driving had not been dangerous, and so he was not prosecuted for causing death by dangerous or careless driving.
A police spokesman said:
Thames Valley Police liaised with the Crown Prosecution Service regarding this case, after a full and thorough investigation it was concluded that the evidence gathered did not meet the threshold to charge the driver with a standard of driving offence.
Instead, he was charged with driving with drugs in his system. Coopey pleaded guilty to the charge, but he was spared jail time and ordered to carry out 100 hours worth of community service and to pay a £105 fine, which his parents agreed to pay for him, according to The Sun.
Press were banned from identifying the teenager at the time of his trial as he was not yet 18 years old, however the first picture has now been released owing to Coopey becoming a legal adult.
The teenager said he was ‘in tears’ when listening to the victim’s families speak in court, and added:
It is the most unfortunate thing. It really has affected my mental well-being.
His mother, who until last year was a Met Police schools liaison PC, described the deaths as a ‘real wake up call’ for her son, and said she saw no evidence of the teen taking drugs ‘at the moment’.
She added the family had hidden the keys to their Audi, and there was ‘no way’ he could now get behind the wheel of the car.
Imi’s family were reportedly ‘outraged’ by Coopey’s sentencing. Speaking to the Mail Online, their lawyer, Soyab Patel, said:
If you ask any member of the public, ‘a guy is driving down the road, he’s killed two people, and he was over the limit on cannabis, and he got 100 hours of community service’, you just get the answer “what? are you kidding me?”
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.