Dangerous driver who hit police car jailed - The Rugby Observer

Dangerous driver who hit police car jailed

Rugby Editorial 5th May, 2020 Updated: 5th May, 2020   0

A DANGEROUS driver who hit a police car when he sped off as an officer opened the driver’s door to take the key from the ignition was quickly arrested after crashing into a ditch.

And after hearing that Anthony Stephens had six previous convictions for dangerous driving or aggravated vehicle taking, a judge rejected a plea for him to be given a suspended sentence.

The 37-year-old, of Denham Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, was jailed for a total of 18 months by the judge at Warwick Crown Court and banned from driving for five years and nine months.

Following the incident in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, he had pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and possessing cocaine.

Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting, said in June 2018 Stephens had been banned from driving for three years for driving while disqualified and refusing to provide a specimen of breath.

But at lunchtime on April 2, officers on patrol in Ryton spotted a VW Golf which had a ‘marker’ on it as being of interest on the car park of the Co-op store in the village.

They pulled up in front of Stephens who was in the Golf, and a female officer went over to it and opened the driver’s door to remove the key from the ignition.

But Stephens reversed away, forcing her to step back to avoid being hit by the door, and then drove forward, striking the police car before speeding off.

As the officers put on their siren and blue lights to give chase, he sped off along High Street, reaching 60mph in the 30mph residential street.

After turning onto the A445 Leamington Road on the wrong side of the road, he went over traffic calming measures before reaching 90mph after entering a 50mph section of road.

At the Sports Connexion roundabout Stephens turned onto the A423 Oxford Road before skidding into a hedge as he tried to make a sharp right turn into the entrance to the Woodside Caravan Park.

He reversed out of the hedge and sped off towards the site, but lost control again on a slight left-hand bend, and the car ended up in a ditch.

Stephens, who Judge Anthony Potter observed had six previous convictions for dangerous driving or aggravated vehicle taking, climbed out and ran off – but was caught and arrested, and was found to have three wraps of cocaine on him.

Sophie Chaplin, defending, asked the judge to consider a suspended sentence, adding Stephens had been through the prison system ‘on and off since the age of 14.’

But jailing Stephens, Judge Potter told him: “Given your dreadful record the only way in which appropriate punishment can be imposed is by the imposition of an immediate sentence of custody.”

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Advertise with the Rugby Observer to reach your audience


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Rugby Observer.