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Complaints upheld after police failed to act against driver who left cyclist with spinal injuries

Campbell Hutcheson was hit while stationary at a junction

Police Scotland has apologised for a botched investigation into a road crash that left a cyclist with spinal injuries. Campbell Hutcheson, 50, was hit by a 21-year-old motorist in 2017 but two officers decided not to charge.

STV reports that Hutcheson was stationary at a junction in Houston, Renfrewshire, when he was hit. He suffered crushed vertebrae and several other injuries.

His helmet was shattered in the collision and he keeps it as a memento. He has been told by doctors that another blow to the head could prove fatal.

Officers who dealt with the incident did not charge the driver and nor did they send a report to the Crown Office.

Hutcheson’s father, Alex Hutcheson, 92, complained about this. Officers then filed a report six months later, but it was too late to take action.

"We received Mr Hutcheson Sr's complaints in December 2017 and responded in February 2018,” said a police spokesperson. “We upheld a number of his concerns, apologised and outlined action that had been taken.”

Superintendent Simon Wright said the police report arrived too late for the Crown to take action.

The force accepted that a constable failed to accurately record information about the incident and that a sergeant didn't check or sign the crash report.

The constable's claim that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the driver was also dismissed.

A complaint that the sergeant failed to explain why the driver was not charged was also upheld.

Alex Hutcheson then wrote to the Crown Office who ordered the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (Pirc) to investigate.

Pirc said: "The matter was fully investigated and a report submitted to the Crown Office in October 2018. Decisions regarding prosecutions are a matter for the Crown."

The Crown's Criminal Allegations Against the Police Division (CAAP-D) decided not to prosecute any officers.

It said the decision was subject of a "full review" by a Crown lawyer with no prior connection to the case who said it was "reasonable" not to prosecute.

In response to this, Hutcheson had written another letter to the Crown accusing them of failing to investigate properly, but died before he could send it.

Campbell and Alex Hutcheson were both keen cyclists, undertaking L’Etape du Tour together when Alex was 70.

Campbell said: "He put his trust in the Crown who let him down very, very badly, and that was the last straw. It drove him to the edge. Alex wanted an inquiry. He wanted this to be aired.

"I think in his memory I've got to tell this story because he looked after me all his life, he was my best friend. Alex pursued it right to the bitter end, right through. He played his cards fair, the honest way, he never told lies."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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