New Brunswick

Miramichi police officer guilty of dangerous driving on way to shoplifting scene

A Miramichi police officer who drove more than 70 kilometres an hour above the speed limit answering a shoplifting call has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Const. Eric Pomerleau hears verdict delivered in Miramichi provincial court Wednesday

Const. Eric Pomerleau, left, shown here with defence lawyer T.J. Burke, has been found guilty of dangerous driving. (Kate Letterick/CBC)

A Miramichi police officer who drove more than 70 kilometres an hour above the speed limit answering a shoplifting call has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Const. Eric Pomerleau will be sentenced Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

​During the trial, the court heard Pomerleau was driving at least 72 km/h above the posted speed limit on June 4, 2016, when he crashed his cruiser.

He was responding as backup to a call about a theft of baby formula on June 4, 2016. 

A woman studying at New Brunswick Community College was in the cruiser when it slammed into a pickup truck and then into a utility pole on King George Highway in Miramichi. 

Provincial court ​Judge Natalie LeBlanc delivered the verdict Wednesday.

She said she had a lengthy decision but would only read portions of it. 

LeBlanc said police officers testified it was a routine call, and even though the suspected shoplifter was known to sometimes carry a weapon, no one else responded with lights and sirens at a high rate of speed.

The court heard Pomerleau was driving 132 km/h along a stretch of the two-lane King George Highway that is zoned between 50 and 60 km/h. 

The judge said that after considering all aspects of the case, the time of day, the traffic and the nature of the call, she found Pomerleau's speed and acceleration a departure from the norm.  

Deputy Chief Brian Cummings had no comment about the verdict but confirmed Pomerleau will remain on the job until sentencing.  

A number of officers from the police force were in court to hear the verdict.  

With files from Kate Letterick