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Medway police say sorry for letter blunder

Charlotte Orde and Kerri Deakin
Charlotte Orde and Kerri Deakin

When the mother of a girl left critically injured by a motorist saw him banned and fined in court she thought that was an end to the matter.

That was before she received a letter from the police wrongly telling them the driver had been let off.

Now Medway's two senior policemen have personally visited the family of teenager Charlotte Olde to apologise for the blunder.

Both Charlotte and her friend Kerri Deakin, who was also injured, were sent letters informing them motorist Ian Bugden would not be prosecuted for causing the crash which left them both with injuries, because of a lack of evidence.
Bugden, 52, of Upper Luton Road, Chatham, was banned from driving for a year, fined £450 and was ordered to pay £455 in court costs.
The crash, which happened on Four Elms Hill, in Chattenden, in December last year, left Charlotte, who was 14 at the time, in a critical condition with a blood clot on her brain.
Kerri, who was also 14 when the crash happened, was badly bruised during the incident.
Charlotte, who lives on the Isle of Grain, has made an amazing recovery but is still suffering from neurological problems. The Hundred of Hoo pupil cannot remember the incident.

Des Keers
Des Keers

Had the parents not been in court to see the outcome they may never have known that Bugden had actually been convicted and punished.
Kerri’s mum, Sharon, said: “It was a bit of a shock when we read the letter which said the case had been dismissed at court.
“We called the criminal justice unit at Medway police station and it was only then they realised their error.”
Medway’s area commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley and his deputy Superintendent Des Keers, visited Charlotte to personally apologise.
The pair gave Charlotte cinema vouchers to share with Kerri, and gave her parents some flowers.
Charlotte’s mum Jackie said: “We are pleased they came in person to apologise, it was nice of them.
Supt Keers added: “The victims in this case have received the full support of police in Medway and the witness service based at Medway Magistrates’ Court.
“This was an administrative error by the criminal justice unit, which was quickly identified and the correct letter was sent on November 6.
“The unit at Medway Police Station has apologised to the family about the error and thanked them for their support in this case.”

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