£300k for widow over off-duty cop hit-and-run

Lisa Douglas, pictured with husband Martin, says the fight for compensation has made her emphysema worse. Picture: Jane Barlow
Lisa Douglas, pictured with husband Martin, says the fight for compensation has made her emphysema worse. Picture: Jane Barlow
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THE widow of a man who was killed by an off-duty police officer in a hit-and-run has won a £300,000 payout.

Lisa Douglas’s husband Martin, 41, was knocked down by PC Hamaad Khalid, 27, on New Year’s Day in 2011.

Despite having first aid training, Mr Khalid failed to stop, only returning to the scene of the accident outside the Playhouse Theatre seven minutes later.

The former police officer, who left the force in 2013, was never prosecuted for driving away from the accident. He was never given a breath test and did not have his mobile phone use investigated, against standard procedure.

Mrs Douglas launched a £1.1 million damages claim at the Court of Session last year, asking for £500,000 and £200,000 for each of her three children – Martina, 20, Thomas, 18, and Ben, ten.

It is understood she has now accepted an offer of £300,000 from Mr Khalid’s insurers in an out-of-court settlement, and that she plans to use the money to buy a home.

Niddrie resident Mrs Douglas, who suffers from emphysema, said the fight for compensation had damaged her health further, claiming that doctors had told her she could soon be housebound because of her condition.

She made no comment on the settlement, but said when launching her damages claim: “This is not about money but getting justice for Martin, who was my husband.

“I want to know why the driver was not breath-tested or drug-tested at the time, why he did not stop and if he could have avoided hitting my husband in the first place.”

Mr Khalid had finished a shift at Drylaw Police Station and was driving home when the accident took place, just after 4am on January 1.

Mr Douglas was crossing the road to rejoin his wife after going to a takeaway when he was hit by Mr Khalid’s black Toyota.

Another force, Central Scotland Police, was called in to investigate after Lothian and Borders admitted failing to breath-test its officer, which is standard procedure following a serious accident. And no drugs test was carried out, which is recommended practice.

Central Scotland Police also probed claims that Khalid was using a mobile phone prior to the accident and that a second driver may have hit Mr Douglas.

A misconduct probe into the officers who originally investigated Mr Douglas’ death was also carried out.

Lothian and Borders Police were criticised for leaving Mrs Douglas alone at the scene of the accident for 45 minutes while her husband was taken to hospital.

news@edinburghnews.com