Son of Milton Keynes cops spared jail despite killing two while drug-driving

The teenage son of two police officers has avoided a prison sentence despite killing two pedestrians while driving his parents’ car after taking drugs.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 11:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 12:50 pm
John Shackley was one of the pedestrians killed

Max Coopey, 18, smoked cannabis a few hours before he went out in the powerful Audi. He said he did not see the two men crossing the road.

Rugby coach John Shackley, 61, from Milton Keynes and colleague Jason Imi, 48, were returning to their hotel after a works dinner in Reading in August last year. They were both killed instantly.

Coopey has notched six criminal convictions, mainly for drugs, since he was 12.

John Shackley was one of the pedestrians killed

But Thames Valley Police did not prosecute him for causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a hefty prison sentence, because they said there was no evidence of impaired driving.

Instead he was charged with drug-driving and was given 100 hours of community service, banned from driving for two years, and ordered to pay £105 costs.

The trial took place in January but it is only this week, as Coopey turned 18, that his name could be disclosed.

The court heard he saw two bodies “curled up” on the ground after the collision and then fled home because he was scared of his mum finding out.

During the trial he said: “It was the most unfortunate thing. It has really affected my mental well being.”

A witness statement from John Shackley's widow was read out in court.

She said: "I previously worked in a school setting. I know that some kids need some extra discipline. To assist them to choose the right life path is something that parents need to do to get them to avoid getting into dangerous situations."

Coopey's mother, who was a Met police schools liaison officer until last year, told the court she was sorry for the families affected.

She said her son had been "nicer" at the family's Ascot home since the incident and saw no evidence of him taking drugs "at the moment".

The two deaths had been a "real wake-up call," she said.