Danger driver jailed for trying to injure cops during chase

An ‘incredibly dangerous’ driver has been jailed after he rammed a police car and narrowly missed an officer at a roadblock. Liam Stocks was being hunted by police after driving off from a filling station at Heathfield, Newton Abbot in a 2.5 ton Nissan Navara pickup without paying. Officers set up a road block in a country road near Bovey Tracey but he drove through it, narrowly missing Pc Lewis Small who had to jump out of the way.

He went on to ram a police car in an attempt to escape after being boxed in a few miles away. The driver, Pc Christopher Butcher was lucky to escape without injuries. Stocks was a disqualified driver who was so drunk that he could not remember what he had done until police showed him bodycam and dashboard footage of the two incidents.

He led police on a chase around Bovey Tracey after several drivers called 999 to alert them to his dangerous driving. He damaged a garden wall and the Navara before he was stopped and kicked out at a police officer while being arrested.

Liam Stocks

Stocks, aged 33, of no fixed address, admitted two counts of attempting to cause serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, making off without payment, failing to provide a sample of breath, and assaulting an emergency worker. He was jailed for four years by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court and banned from driving for six years with an extended re-test.

The judge told him:”You were a disqualified driver and heavily in drink, you engaged in a considerable piece of driving which put the lives of many people, including the police, at risk. “The most serious counts are those of attempting to cause serious injury by dangerous driving. It is plain you were intent on causing really serious injury, sometimes called grievous bodily harm, to the two officers.

“What you did was incredibly dangerous. You were driving a 4 x 4 truck, which weighs approaching 2.5 tons, around the area of Heathfield and Bovey Tracey for a considerable period of time. “Your driving was bad and was seen by members of the public and when police arrived you did your level best to get away.

In fact, you intended to harm at least two officers. “The other matters pale into insignificance by comparison but included making off without payment, causing criminal damage and kicking an officer when you were apprehended. “The footage shows how close Pc Small came to suffering serious injury or worse as you drove through a gap which was so narrow that even an experienced police driver would not have attempted.”

Miss Kelly Scrivener, prosecuting, said the pursuit took place in roads around Bovey Tracey and Heathfield in the early hours of Wednesday February 19 this year. Stocks, who had a male passenger in the Navara, was filmed as he narrowly missed Pc Small and rammed Pc Butcher’s patrol car. He had been disqualified from driving last year and was obviously very drunk when he was arrested, although he either refused or was unable to provide a breath test.

He was aggressive and abusive throughout his arrest and kicked out the officers who detained him.

Mr Joe Hingston, defending, said Stocks had not caused any actual injuries to the traffic officers and had admitted the offences and expressed shame, embarrassment and remorse when he was shown the dashboard and bodycam footage.

He has mental health issues and a personality disorder which led him to drink and make the impulsive decision to drive.

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