A Thames Valley Police officer has spoken out in disgust after a male who rammed his patrol car – causing him life-changing injuries – is released from his closed prison after serving only ten months of a five-year jail term.
This also now means that the individual who was responsible for the officer’s injuries could be released from prison on licence.
Sgt Tom Dorman has been left reeling after hearing the news of drunk driver Hayden Brown’s potential early release from prison, saying he believes the “justice system is flawed” and weighted far too heavily in favour of convicted criminals.
Sgt Dorman was lucky to survive after Brown ploughed into his patrol car in September 2018.
He believes a 5-year jail term was already far too lenient for the crimes Brown committed – and now this latest news about his release is a final insult.
Speaking this week, Sgt Dorman said:
“Where is the justice for the victim? I am absolutely disgusted to find out that Hayden Brown has been already moved to an open prison and will now be allowed to be temporarily released on licence.
“He’s served ten months of a five-year sentence. What an insult. The justice system is broken and failing victims of crime.
“How can the system be so fundamentally flawed that his actions sentenced myself, my crew mate and his passenger to a lifetime of punishment, but he gets to leave prison months later?
“How is this Protecting Our Protectors and creating a culture where criminals who harm officers face the full consequences for their actions?”
Sgt Dorman has appealed to the Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to look into the case.
Craig O’Leary, Thames Valley Police Federation Chairman, added:
“We are shocked and appalled to hear that Brown will not serve the full five years he was handed. Brown chose to get behind the wheel, having drunk alcohol and taken cocaine. In doing so, he drove into two police officers.
“His actions that day changed Tom’s life forever, and yet Brown has spent only a few short months behind bars. How is this justice for these officers? How can he be deemed safe to roam society? How will his sentence act as a deterrent?
“Police officers around the country will be disgusted to hear that Brown will walk free after such a short time behind bars.”
Reading Crown Court heard PC Thomas Dorman and PC Wai-man Lam were “thrown into the air like ragdolls” when Hayden Brown drove into them on 2 September 2018.
PC Dorman, despite suffering massive leg injuries, directed residents to find a tourniquet to stop him dying from blood loss at the scene.
Hayden Brown of Suffolk Road, Maidenhead, was found guilty of three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after the incident.
He was jailed for five years at Reading Crown Court in December last year.
And now the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley has written to the Lord Chancellor to urge him to look at the case.
In a letter to the Rt Honourable Robert Buckland QC, Matthew Barber said:
“You may be aware of the horrific case of two Thames Valley Police Officers who were struck by a car in September 2018. Both officers, PC Lam and PC Dorman were seriously injured, Tom Dorman having to have his leg amputated as a result.
“IN December of last year the driver, who was shown to be almost twice the drink drive limit, was sentenced to five years for dangerous driving. Many felt at the time that this sentence was wholly inadequate given the details of the offence and the harm caused as a result. It was nevertheless the maximum sentence that could have been given for this particular charge.
‘As a result, Tom Dorman, now Sgt Dorman, has been campaigning for a change in the sentencing guidelines to strengthen the powers of the courts when sentencing those who cause serious injury or death whilst driving. The details of this and many other tragic cases convince me of the need for such changes.
“What is more worry, in this case, is that the convicted man, Hayden Brown, has been moved to an open prison after serving just ten months of his sixty-month sentence and will now be eligible for release under temporary licence (RORL).
“As we have discussed before, I am a great supporter of the appropriate use of ROTL and the Thames Valley OPCC has supported a number of schemes to reduce re-offending. However, punishment must also remain a key part of the prison system alongside rehabilitation. Given the circumstances of the case, where an individual’s reckless behaviour very nearly cost the lives of two on-duty police officers and resulted in permanent disability for one of them seems incredible that the offender should serve less than one-fifth of their sentence in a closed prison.
“I would ask you to use your good offices to look into this case, not just because of the obvious feeling of injustice that many feel as a result of this particulary egregious instance but as as an example of the wider concerns that many have about the effectiveness of our criminal justice system”.
Emergency Services News has contacted the Lord Chancellor’s office for comment.