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Son of two retired Met police officers who avoided jail despite killing two pedestrians while drug-driving faces arrest for the eighth time for refusing to attend court


The son of two retired Metropolitan police officers, who controversially avoided jail despite killing two people in a drug-driving incident, is to be arrested for the eighth time for refusing to attend court.

Max Coopey, 22, was expected to be sentenced today for driving while disqualified after he indicated he would change his ‘not guilty’ plea.

However, the young man apparently told his solicitor at the last minute that he now wished to maintain his denial and would not turn up to court.

East Berkshire magistrates in Slough, Berks, immediately issued a warrant for Coopey’s his arrest – the eight issued to the man since his headline-grabbing first offence in 2018.

Aged 17, he ploughed into IT sales manager Jason Imi, 48, and his 61-year-old colleague John Shackley, on August 2, whilst over the drug-drive limit.

Max Coopey, 22, was expected to be sentenced today for driving while disqualified after he indicated he would change his “not guilty” plea

Max Coopey, 22, was expected to be sentenced today for driving while disqualified after he indicated he would change his ‘not guilty’ plea

Coopey's former Met Police Sergeant father, Russel Coopey, arriving at Reading Magistrates Court back in 2019

Coopey’s former Met Police Sergeant father, Russel Coopey, arriving at Reading Magistrates Court back in 2019

John Shackley, 61, had ben walking back to his hotel after a work night out with colleagues, before being thrown over Mr Coopey's vehicle and died at the scene

John Shackley, 61, had ben walking back to his hotel after a work night out with colleagues, before being thrown over Mr Coopey’s vehicle and died at the scene

IT sales manager Jason Imi, 48, (pictured with his wife Sarah) was killed in the drug-driving incident

 IT sales manager Jason Imi, 48, (pictured with his wife Sarah) was killed in the drug-driving incident 

The pair, who had been walking back to their hotel after a work night out with colleagues, were thrown over the vehicle and died at the scene.

But despite driving under the influence of cannabis, the then teenager was controversially not charged with dangerous driving, after a police investigation found he was not criminally liable for the deaths – which enabled him to avoid prison.

Instead, Coopey – whose father, Russel, was a Metropolitan Police sergeant and his mother, Catherine, a former police officer – received a two-year driving ban and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

Since then he has been convicted of a string of other offences, including driving under the influence, drug dealing and stashing £1,000 of cannabis at a £1million home in Ascot where he lives with his parents.

He has also been spared jail on at least four occasions, accumulating 11 convictions for 23 offences.

For the current offence, Coopey was expected to change his plea with regards to an offence of driving while disqualified.

He was allegedly caught driving a blue Fiat 500 – said to belong to his ex Met officer mother – on January 19, 2021, when he was banned from driving.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge at Reading Magistrates’ Court on August 9 this year – but only after a warrant for his arrest was issued as he had refused to attend a previous hearing for the same matter at the same court a week earlier.

Earlier this year, Coopey appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court for refusing to take a blood test to determine whether he was driving under the influence. During this incident, he was found in possession of cannabis and burner mobile phones.

He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on May 22 this year and given an 18-month community order and a three-year driving ban for these drug offences.

The 22-year-old has also been spared jail on at least four occasions, accumulating 11 convictions for 23 offences

The 22-year-old has also been spared jail on at least four occasions, accumulating 11 convictions for 23 offences

Today, prosecutor Adam Yar Khan warned magistrates the arrest warrant for Mr Coopey had been issued many times before but to no avail.

Mr Khan told the magistrates: ‘Mr Coopey knows the consequences of not attending court hearings because he has already been arrested seven times in his life for not turning up to court.

‘From my experience dealing with Mr Coopey, he will attend court when it just suits him and sometimes he attends court on a day that he is not listed and demands to be seen.

‘He knew about today’s hearing and said he was not going to attend because it does not suit him.’

Mr Khan also told magistrates that too much of the court’s ‘precious time’ was being spent on Mr Coopey.

‘Mr Coopey was found in the driver’s seat of a car shortly after he was disqualified from driving. There was a Section 172 notice sent to him because he would not confirm that he was the driver.

‘Eventually this matter has had to be brought before the court because no driver has been named.

‘Coopey then attended on August 9 and entered a ‘not guilty’ plea because he said he was not the driver. This hearing was then listed for a change of plea on October 15 but Mr Coopey did not attend court on that day and so the hearing was adjourned to November 1.’

‘Court time is precious. A trial slot had been allocated to Mr Coopey and it could have gone to other persons in more serious cases.’

Coopey’s legal representation, Shehneela Ahmed, told the magistrates that the defendant’s last minute decision not to attend court on Wednesday had left her ‘professionally embarrassed.’

She told the magistrates: ‘I spoke to Mr Coopey at half past seven this morning and he instructed that he wishes to maintain his not guilty plea. If he was to have attended today, he would have been in a position to explain why he has decided to maintain his plea.

‘He does in fact have mental health issues and I am asking for you to take this into account. Otherwise, I am in your hands.’

When arrested, Mr Coopey will be taken straight to the cells to await his next hearing.

It was not yet known when he will appear before the magistrates next.



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