An "upstanding" young police officer has dodged a criminal conviction after he slammed into a turning vehicle at speed, injuring the driver, when rushing to a possible abduction.
Constable Rahul Dayal, 24, reached a speed of 110km/h on Great South Rd as he responded to a report of a woman being pulled into a vehicle with a coat hanger in Otahuhu on January 14.
While the lights on his police car were flashing he choose not to activate the siren because he did not want to alert the offender to oncoming police, the Auckland District Court heard.
But a driver turning right did not see the police car whizzing up from behind to overtake.
Dayal attempted to flick his headlights and slowed to 69km/h but was unable to avoid a collision, which resulted in a three-car pile-up.
The officer was charged with dangerous driving causing injury.
"It is a poor piece of driving, people have been injured," Judge Brooke Gibson said at Dayal's sentencing today.
The driver of the turning car suffered spinal fractures and required ongoing treatment for the pain, the judge said.
Dayal's lawyer, Todd Simmonds, said Dayal was an "upstanding" and responsible young man who had shown ownership over the crash.
"He accepts that he got it wrong but of course it was a genuine mistake," Simmonds said.
"He was doing his level best at the time."
Dayal pleaded guilty early and restorative justice went positively, Simmonds added.
The court heard Dayal had also profusely apologised to the crash victim and offered reparation payments.
That apology was accepted and the victim supported a discharge without conviction, Judge Gibson said.
It would be extraordinary for Dayal to lose his job for crashing a police car in the execution of his duty but a conviction could threaten his employment, he said.
Dayal had already been on restricted duties and had lost allowances he would have been entitled to, the court heard.
Judge Gibson said Dayal had considerable support and was "plainly someone of good character" when discharging him without conviction.
"In these unique circumstances, I will not impose a disqualification," he said.
Inspector Jared Pirret of Counties Manukau Police said Dayal had continued working for police since the crash but was not on active front-line duties.
This matter is still subject to an IPCA investigation and an employment process, Pirret said.
The focus would be on police policy, practice, and procedures to determine whether there were lessons to be learned, Pirret said.
Police were not in a position to comment further until the process is complete, he said.