A former off-duty Wiltshire Police officer ran a mother and her daughter “off the road” during a “road rage” incident, a hearing has heard.

PC Peter Lawson, a former instructor with the Driver Training Unit who has since resigned from the force, had four allegations against him upheld by the Legally Qualified Chair, at a hearing he did not attend on Monday, May 13.

A panel found these offences amounted to gross misconduct when taken together and that he would have been dismissed if he was still an officer.

The hearing heard that, shortly after 8pm on December 3, 2022, Lawson engaged in a incident involving Cheryl Rowlands and her daughter Melissa while off-duty in his own car.

Lawson was accused of “tailgating” Mrs Rowlands’ Mazda on the A4361 at Winterbourne Bassett, near Avebury, while she was on her way to a friend’s birthday party.

READ MORE: Ex Wiltshire Police officer faces misconduct hearing over crash

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Former PC Peter LawsonFormer PC Peter Lawson (Image: Newsquest)

Mrs Rowlands claimed Lawson was “right behind” her vehicle while “aggressively” flashing his full beam lights and beeping his horn.

Lawson allegedly overtook the Mazda before applying his brakes, forcing Mrs Rowlands to go around him.

The hearing heard Lawson allegedly then overtook Mrs Rowlands again and turned into her, causing the two cars to collide and forcing the Mazda off the road.

He reportedly exited his vehicle and acted in an “aggressive, threatening and intimidating” manner while Mrs Rowlands called the police.

The mother described Lawson’s behaviour as “rude, abusive, and belligerent” and told the hearing the incident damaged her confidence as a driver.

She added: “I was concerned we had what I deemed to be a road rage driver behind us causing all this mayhem.

“Because he was so close (as he overtook) he hit my driver’s side front wing…that was a complete shock.

“I’d never been literally run off the road the way he did that night, I’m starting to get emotional just thinking about it.”

At the time of the incident, Mrs Rowlands estimated she was travelling at around 30mph as she did not know the road and missed her turning in the “dark and rural” area.

Stephen Morley, the representative for the Chief Constable, argued the two women were potentially “vulnerable” in this situation.

Lawson claimed in an earlier statement he flashed his lights to be “informative” because Mrs Rowlands had been driving “inappropriately.”

The former officer did not attend the hearing to provide further evidence in his defence, and the panel upheld the allegations against him.

They also found three other allegations were proven, on the balance of probabilities, during the hearing.

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Just four days after the “road rage” incident, Lawson caused a crash on the A4 Avenue La Fleche in Chippenham.

At the time he was reportedly running late while driving a police van to a public order training session.

He turned on the vehicle’s blue lights and went through a red light on the wrong side of the road, prompting another driver to brake suddenly, which caused a second car to crash into him from behind.

Lawson did not stop at the scene or report the collision and was later convicted of driving without due care and attention, and failing to stop, at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

He was fined £1,200 and received five points on his licence.

Wiltshire Police suspended him following this incident.

The chair also upheld claims Lawson took a Driver Training Unit vehicle for an operation without permission and made an inappropriate and disrespectful comment about another officer.

This allegation related to an incident in which Lawson showed a group of student officers a photograph of a badly damaged police vehicle.

When a student asked about the officers involved, Lawson admitted saying “unfortunately” one occupant, whom he “had history with”, survived the incident.