A MAN whose car struck a policewoman in Leamington as he drove after being stopped later abandoned it after crashing into another car.
But Joseph Considine was traced and arrested, and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, assaulting the officer and failing to stop after an accident.
The 29 year-old, of Edmondscote Road, Leamington, was jailed for 14 months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court who also banned him from driving for three years and seven months.
Prosecutor Sophie Murray said on August 7 last year the police stopped a Seat Leon Turbo in Lansdowne Street because they believed it had no insurance.
The driver, Considine, got out, and was spoken to before one of the officers returned to their vehicle to check his details, leaving Pc Samantha Stanford by the Seat.
Suddenly Considine got back in and started the car, and as Pc Stanford took hold of the door handle to try to stop him, the car struck her, causing bruising to her thigh.
Considine sped off towards Hill Street, and when Pc Stanford and her colleague then carried out a search of the area, they found it damaged and abandoned in Lillington Road.
It had hit another car, injuring one of the occupants, and both front airbags had inflated before Considine had got out and made off from the scene, but was later arrested.
Miss Murray added when Considine was interviewed he said he had panicked after being stopped, and ‘just kept driving’ until he crashed.
Nick Devine, defending, said Considine, who had not been to prison since 2014, ‘is growing up,’ and his partner is 22 weeks pregnant with twins.
But jailing Considine, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “Although she received only slight injury, there was the potential for it being much more serious.
“She finds you treated her with contempt, and I can do nothing but agree. She has had to focus on whether she wants to continue working as a police officer.
“I have absolutely no doubt you realised you had struck that officer, but you didn’t stop.
“You then drove on the wrong side of the road and you struck another car as it was turning left, and you ran off because you are a coward.”
After serving his sentence and the three-year driving ban which follows it, Considine was told he will have to take an extended test before getting his licence back.