Man Who Drove At Policeman Narrowly Avoids Prison

PUBLISHED: 13:51 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 04 May 2010

A MAN who injured a police officer after driving his car at him has narrowly avoided a prison sentence. Drunk-driver James Willett, of Fordham Road in Soham, was handed a three-month suspended sentence by magistrates in Ely after he pleaded guilty to assa

A MAN who injured a police officer after driving his car at him has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

Drunk-driver James Willett, of Fordham Road in Soham, was handed a three-month suspended sentence by magistrates in Ely after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Pc Nick Webber on May 7.

35 year-old Willett, who was behind the wheel despite being more than one and a half times over the drink-drive limit, hit Pc Webber after the policeman stepped in front of his vehicle in an effort to try and stop him.

"Officers were out dealing with another incident in Clay Street in Soham when they noticed Mr Willett wheel-spinning his car, magistrates were told by Laura Mardell, prosecuting.

"Pc Webber tried to stop the vehicle by walking in front of it but the defendant shouted abuse at him.

"The defendant then accelerated towards Pc Webber and he struck his arm on the car as the car sped past him.

"Officers gave chase but were forced to stop and slow down as the defendants speed reached what officers say was 50mph in a 30mph zone. The defendant then drove his car onto the pavement and was arrested."

Guy Holland defending, told magistrates: "He has acted in a moment of madness, he did not intend to hurt the officer and he drove off in the heat of the moment."

Sentencing Willett, magistrates described Willett's actions as 'reprehensible' and, as well as handing him a suspended jail-term, magistrates ordered Willett to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and banned him from driving for 16 months. Pc Webber was awarded £100 in compensation.

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