A man has been jailed after hitting a police officer with a car as he tried to flee from officers in Watford.
Darren McPhee, aged 27, of no fixed address, refused to leave his cell and attend St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday (17 February).
Because he refused to exit his cell, he was sentenced in his absence.
McPhee previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while unfit through drugs, failing to stop for police and assaulting a police officer.
As well as the charges above, he was also sentenced for breaching a non-molestation order and actual bodily harm, both from offences that occurred outside of Hertfordshire.
McPhee was jailed for a total of two and a half years, as well as being disqualified from driving for 2.5 years when he is released from prison.
The court heard how on the morning of Thursday, 28 February 2019, plain-clothes officers from Watford’s Operation Scorpion team spotted a grey Volvo parked up in Pumphouse Crescent.
They suspected that McPhee, who was behind the wheel of the car, was carrying out a drug deal. When McPhee drove off from his parking spot, officers indicated for him to stop.
As one of the officers approached him, McPhee slammed his vehicle into reverse and deliberately drove at one of the police officers, knocking him off his feet and throwing him over the bonnet.
McPhee drove off erratically, and the officer alerted colleagues of the incident on his radio.
Thankfully, the officer who was struck by McPhee was not seriously hurt.
A short time later, two other officers in a marked patrol car located McPhee driving in the direction of Bushey. They signalled for him to stop, but again he failed to do so.
Instead, he began driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone, overtaking traffic, speeding the wrong way around a roundabout, mounting pavements, colliding with other cars and travelling on the opposite side of the road, all in a bid to evade police.
He eventually lost control of the car on The Avenue in Bushey, where it crashed into a lamp post. McPhee tried to run from the scene but was swiftly arrested by police before being taken to custody.
A blood test was carried out, and the defendant was found to have a significant amount of THC (cannabis) in his system.
Investigator Jeannie Ireland, from the Case Investigation Team, said:
“In his desperation to elude police, McPhee chose to put not only the life of a police officer at risk, but the lives of the wider public when he drove dangerously through the streets of Watford and Bushey.
“It is a miracle that no one was seriously injured that day. Now that he is behind bars he is off the roads and I hope McPhee uses the time to reflect on his actions.”
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