Hertfordshire Mercury, 19th January 1951.
A police patrol car driver, P.C. Derek Needham, of 85 Dunmow Road, Bishop’s Stortford, was cleared at Bishop’s Stortford Court yesterday (Thursday) when he pleaded not guilty to a summons alleging that he drove without due care and attention at Bishop’s Stortford on January 5.
Mr A. S. Tee, prosecuting, said that at 7.55 p.m. Needham reversed a patrol car from Basbow Lane into High Street and “slightly collided” with a stationary car outside St Michael’s Hall. It was raining and the rear window of the police car was misted over.
Needham, in evidence, stated that before reversing the car he received an urgent radio message that two children had been left in a house in Braughing for a week without food or heat.
He was aware of the presence of the other car, he said, and realising that he was getting rather close to it, he applied his brakes, but the patrol car skidded two or three feet owing to loose gravel on the road.
Mr T. Anderson Davis, defending, suggested that if Needham had been a civilian driver there would have been no proceedings. He made an error of judgment amounting to 1½ to 6 inches.
The summons was dismissed.