Police officers' son who killed Milton Keynes rugby coach jailed for driving while disqualified

The controversial son-of-two police officers has finally been jailed amid claims he should have been locked up months ago for killing MK rugby coach John Shackley.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 1:55 pm

Teenager Max Coopey drove his father's powerful Audi car while high on cannabis and ploughed into pedestrian Mr Shackley and his colleague Jason Imi as they crossed the road after a work function in Ascot.

But he escaped jail earlier this year because police say there was not enough evidence that he caused death by dangerous driving.

Instead he was given a youth rehabilitation order and banned from driving for two years.

Max Coopey drove his father's powerful Audi car while high on cannabis

However, yesterday (Tuesday) Coopey was finally jailed for another offence - of driving while disqualified just WEEKS after knocking down Mr Shackley, 61, and 48-year-old Mr Imi.

He had gone on trial at Reading Magistrates' Court after denying the offence, saying it was his friend who was behind the wheel.

But the District Judge Davinder Lachhar said she did not believe him and found him guilty. She sent him to Bullingdon Jail in Bicester for three months.

The court heard PCSO Gary Clarke, who spotted Coopey driving illegally, had been given prior warning that the young man was driving when he was not allowed to do so.

PedestrianJohn Shackley was killed in the collision

He knew the 18-year-old had been banned from the road after he knocked down and killed Mr Shackley and Mr Imi in August last year after smoking drugs with a friend.

And PC Clarke was actively looking for Coopey on the day he spotted him in the driving seat of his mother’s silver Renault Clio, having been briefed that the teenager was continuing to drive illegally.

He had even been given a picture of him, which he kept on his desk at Ascot police station, the court heard.

Coopey told Judge Lachhar his friend had been driving, while he had been in the passenger seat using his phone.

He claimed to have given his friend the use of the Renault while he was disqualified on condition that he drive him around and claimed the car was kept at his friend's home in South Ascot.

Shona Probert, prosecuting, told the court Coopey’s offence was “severely aggravated” by his previous convictions.

Judge Lachhar said: “He’s has quite a record doesn’t he? He has been very lucky in getting very lenient sentences.

“He is a very lucky young man, he has a supportive family, they would do anything for him and yet here he is, before the courts on a number of occasions.”

Before Coopey was sentenced, he told probation officers he had been suffering from mental health issues in the run up to his hearing.

His mother, Catherine Coopey, is a police constable with a speciality for school liaison and his father, Russel Coopey is a police sergeant in the Met.

The probation officers admitted Coopey’s compliance with the Youth Rehabilitation Order he was sentenced to after the fatal collision was “poor overall”.

“He has missed a number of engagements and has provided a number of reasons why," they said.

Sentencing Coopey, Judge Lachhar told him: “You have been appearing before the criminal courts for some time.

“Since 2015 you have in fact been helped by people, all the community orders that have been tried, curfews you have had since 2015, you have community orders, you had been under supervision for two years before this offence in fact, and here you are.

“It is not as if you are not cared for, abandoned, not looked after by your family. You have a lot of advantages that a lot of young people coming to criminal courts do not have a lot of advantages and what have you done with it? Nothing.

“I am not convinced at all you have changed your ways.”

The judge said she had seen no medical evidence which demonstrated Coopey had mental health issues and cited the need to protect the public, saying a suspended sentence would not serve a purpose in her view.

Judge Lachhar added: “There are consequences and the consequences are serious. I have a duty to protect members of the public from people like you who do not seem to be taking any notice of the driving laws or anything else for that matter."

Yesterday the Citizen reported how Thames Valley Police were 'reviewing' Coopey's case after he broke his silence and spoke about the fatal accident for the first time at an inquest earlier this summer into the deaths of Mr Shackley and Mr Imi.