Robert Rand accelerated towards policeman trying to pull him over in council car park in New Milton, court hears

Southampton Crown Court

Southampton Crown Court

First published in News
Last updated

A PANICKING motorist drove straight at a police officer in a desperate bid to avoid being breathalysed.

Robert Rand accelerated towards one of two constables trying to pull him over on suspicion of drink-driving in a council car park.

But a judge spared the 44-year-old jail, slapping him with a five-year driving ban and ordering him to seek help for his “complex” mental health problems.

Southampton Crown Court heard how the drama unfolded when Rand, of Forest Court, New Milton, was pursued by two officers in a marked vehicle on the afternoon of March 6.

They followed him into a car park in Spencer Road, New Milton, where PC Simon Wickson and his colleague PC Hurrell got out of their vehicle and approached Rand, demanding he take a breathalyser test.

Prosecutor Siobhan Lindsay told the court how after opening his door to speak to them, Rand “drove in the direction” of PC Wickson who was standing in front of the |vehicle.

Ms Lindsay said: “The car struck PC Wickson on the knee but fortunately wasn’t going too fast at 10-15mph.”

Police then launched a manhunt for Rand, eventually finding his car abandoned in Old Milton Road, where they found and arrested him close by.

Rand admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to provide a specimen and was handed a four-month suspended prison sentence.

Defending Rand, Francis McGrath, said his client suffered “complex” mental health problems including anxiety and depression.

He warned a prison sentence could harm his client’s mental health further and would increase the likelihood of him reoffending.

He added: “If he is subject to a supervision requirement then there will be closer management by the probation service.”

Recorder Paul Gorlick accepted that Rand did not intend to “use the car as a weapon” but had deliberately tried to drive off.

Suspending the sentence for 18 months, imposing a supervision order and five-year driving ban, Recorder Gorlick, said: “This was a serious case where you deliberately drove off and did so to avoid being arrested.

“But in your case you are in need of supervision that will be a benefit to you and may assist you in adjusting your medication.”

Rand was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.

Comments (5)

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8:22am Tue 27 May 14

billy bumble says...

Good Lord

I hardly ever feel sorry for the police - but this is one of those times
Good Lord I hardly ever feel sorry for the police - but this is one of those times billy bumble
  • Score: 16

10:51am Tue 27 May 14

Controversial But True says...

He was lucky not to be caught with an unpaid council tax bill, or worse, no TV Licence! He'd be doing plenty of time otherwise!
He was lucky not to be caught with an unpaid council tax bill, or worse, no TV Licence! He'd be doing plenty of time otherwise! Controversial But True
  • Score: 12

1:23pm Tue 27 May 14

JackJohnson says...

"A PANICKING motorist drove straight at a police officer in a desperate bid to avoid being breathalysed. "

That'll get a copper off your back - not.
"A PANICKING motorist drove straight at a police officer in a desperate bid to avoid being breathalysed. " That'll get a copper off your back - not. JackJohnson
  • Score: 6

3:10am Wed 28 May 14

billd766 says...

Doing what that numpty did is close to attempted manslaughter and certainly ABH and deserves at least a 6 month custodial sentence NOT suspended.
He panicked as he suffered “complex” mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
Ah shame for the poor man. And what about the policeman who was hit. Who cared about him. Cetainly not the defence lawyer or Recorder Paul Gorlick.
Doing what that numpty did is close to attempted manslaughter and certainly ABH and deserves at least a 6 month custodial sentence NOT suspended. He panicked as he suffered “complex” mental health problems including anxiety and depression. Ah shame for the poor man. And what about the policeman who was hit. Who cared about him. Cetainly not the defence lawyer or Recorder Paul Gorlick. billd766
  • Score: 7

9:54am Thu 29 May 14

RM says...

No wonder there are so many criminals about with all the 'soft' sentences handed out by the courts. All these 'touchy feeley' magistrates & judges make a mockery of the so-called Justice System & merely encourage law breaking. I really feel for the poor cop that got driven into at 'only' 10 - 15 mph. 'Mental health issues' seems to be a catchall phrase used to save criminals from jail & does a grave disservice to the many (law abiding) people who struggle daily to cope with genuine mental health issues.
No wonder there are so many criminals about with all the 'soft' sentences handed out by the courts. All these 'touchy feeley' magistrates & judges make a mockery of the so-called Justice System & merely encourage law breaking. I really feel for the poor cop that got driven into at 'only' 10 - 15 mph. 'Mental health issues' seems to be a catchall phrase used to save criminals from jail & does a grave disservice to the many (law abiding) people who struggle daily to cope with genuine mental health issues. RM
  • Score: 1

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