"She was funny, happy, very outdoorsy" - Harrogate Police pay tribute to 'dear friend' Carol

Flowers were laid at the scene of the crash on Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate, in August last year.
Flowers were laid at the scene of the crash on Arthurs Avenue, Harrogate, in August last year.

Members of the North Yorkshire Police family have paid tribute to their “dear friend and colleague” who was killed by a drink and drug driver in Harrogate last year.

Fifty-year-old Carol Jones, who was travelling to work at Harrogate Police Station, died instantly when her car was struck side-on at 60mph.

Last week, Simeon Denny, 29, of Chequers Close, Pontefract, pleaded guilty at York Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving and driving over the prescribed limit for both alcohol and cannabis.

Denny was nearly twice the legal drinking limit when the BMW 1 series he was driving at the junction of Otley Road and Cold Bath Road hit Mrs Jones’ Ford Fiesta at 7am on August 14, 2016.

He was sentenced to five years and nine months imprisonment and was banned from driving for six-and-a-half-years.

Det Supt Dai Malyn of North Yorkshire police said that no sentence could compensate for their ‘devastating loss’.

He said: “The sentence given to the defendant can never compensate for the devastating loss of our dear friend and colleague Carol Jones.

“I just hope that every day of his sentence he never forgets the pain, sorrow and deep sadness he has caused to her family, friends and colleagues.

“I pay tribute to all those officers and staff involved in the first response and all investigative matters. To deal with an incident where a close colleague and friend is killed requires the utmost professionalism and personal resilience.

“We cannot underestimate the pressure and grief they worked under.”

Through detailed investigation conducted by the NYP Major Collision Investigation Team, officers found that Denny did not make any attempt to brake before the collision, resulting in him hitting Mrs Jones’ vehicle at a speed of 60mph.

Sergeant Paul Cording of the Roads Policing Group based in Harrogate described the case as the “darkest day in his policing career”.

He said: “In that turmoil, we all pulled together and that was self evident because it’s particularly shocking for the family, for her sister, mother and her husband, but it had a profound effect on everybody, particularly North Yorkshire Police as a whole.

“She was funny, happy, very outdoorsy. It’s by far the darkest day of my policing career. You dread turning up to an incident and it being someone you know, it puts a whole different slant on things. The whole team have been extremely professional throughout, to get answers and justice for Carol.

“She was the go to person if you had any questions about crime patterns or trends, anything to do with that. She always had time for everybody and she did it with that wicked sense of humour that always made working with her such a pleasure.”

For Knaresborough PCSO Matt Murphy, Carol had been “the fountain of all knowledge” and a great help when he nervously ran his first ever operation.

He said: “When I first started, I was running my first operation and had loads to do and wasn’t 100 per cent sure about certain things. She went above and beyond to help me, helping with paperwork, advice, even down to calling me on the day of the operation to see how things were going and if I needed any help.

"She was really helpful to a young nervous me starting out, she really was the fountain of knowledge.

He added: “I worked the same shift pattern as her so she was the person we’d always work with.

“I remember walking into work that Sunday morning minutes after it happening and hearing it on the radio everyone that day was in disbelief, even though we see this sort of thing everyday it was still a shock to everyone.”