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Lorry driver ‘vulnerable to falling asleep’ jailed for killing Essex police officer in crash

A lorry driver who caused a collision which killed a serving Essex Police officer has been jailed following an investigation by specialist officers from our Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

PC Tris Baker was off duty when the car he was driving was struck by a lorry on the A1060 in Roxwell on Thursday 23 September 2021.

Tris, who was 41, was a Children and Young Person Officer based in Brentwood.

The driver of the lorry – 38 year-old Robert Harrison, of St Clair Close, Clacton – was charged with causing death by dangerous driving following a thorough investigation by the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

As part of the investigation into Harrison’s sleep history it transpired that he was vulnerable to falling asleep in monotonous situations such as driving on a familiar road, sleeping only between five and six hours per night and requiring strong doses of caffeine in order to carry out his day-to-day responsibilities.

Harrison was convicted on 14 June following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

At the same court today (Thursday 20 July) he was jailed for seven years and will be disqualified from driving for five years.

His ban will come into effect after his prison sentence has been served.

Detective Inspector Mark Fraser, who led the investigation, said: “Tristan was a much loved family man and colleague and is dearly missed by those who knew him.

“My thoughts, and those of my team, are with his partner Faye and his family.
“His death was completely avoidable.

“Robert Harrison actions were reckless and had devastating, tragic consequences and will now face the foreseeable future in prison as a result.

“While no sentence will ever change what has happened but I hope today’s outcome will bring some comfort to those close to Tris.”

(Source: Essex Police)

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