A driver who dragged a police officer along the ground while attempting to flee has been jailed.
Matthew Turley, 20, of Cambria Place, Swindon, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking without consent, dangerous driving, possession of an offensive weapon, public order and possession of cannabis.
He was sentenced last week to 40 months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for more than 50 months. On July 24 2021, officers were on patrol in Old Town when a man driving a Toyota Aygo came to their attention.
An officer on foot indicated for the vehicle to stop which it did, but as the officer was stood at the driver’s window asking him to stop the engine, the driver – Turley – put his foot down and attempted to drive off. The officer had his arm inside the vehicle and attempted to pull the key from the ignition, but Turley accelerated, dragging the officer approximately 20 feet along the ground.
During the struggle, the officer noticed a woman in the path of Turley’s vehicle and so pulled the steering wheel towards him and away from the direction of the woman to avoid a serious collision.
The vehicle made contact with the woman’s knee causing her significant bruising. Turley made off at speed and the vehicle was later located.
Fortunately the officer was not seriously injured.
PC William Saunders said: “At the time of this incident, Turley was disqualified from driving after he was previously convicted of aggravated vehicle taking in 2020, so not only did he not have permission to use the vehicle, but he was also disqualified.
“This was a frightening experience for the officer involved as well as the member of the public who was injured as a result of Turley’s reckless actions. Thanks to the officer’s quick thinking actions, the woman escaped without serious injury but did sustain tyre marks and serious bruising to her leg.
“I am pleased that Turley has been given a prison sentence and a significant disqualification from driving.”