Danger driver facing jail after knocking bobby off his bike

He appeared at Teesside Crown Court.
He appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

A wanted man reversed his car into a bobby on a bicycle before driving off.

Hartlepool PCSO Darryl Asprey suffered a leg injury as he was knocked from his bike, Teesside Crown Court heard.

John Gray denied he was the driver and claimed his car had been stolen, prosecutor Paul Abrahams told the court.

“The incident began when PCSO Asprey heard a car horn while he was on patrol on his bicycle near Russell Walk in Hartlepool,” said Mr Abrahams.

“He followed the sound of the horn and saw a red Fiat Stilo, which he had tried to stop two days before.

“Approaching the car, PCSO Asprey recognised the driver to be John Gray, a man he had dealt with over several years.

“Three people got out of the car, leaving just the driver, who drove off to a nearby car park.”

The court heard PCSO Asprey followed on his bicycle.

Mr Abrahams added: “The car went into reverse, colliding with the bicycle and knocking PCSO Asprey to the ground.

“The car made off towards Shrewsbury Street.

“PCSO Asprey suffered a leg injury which was treated at a nearby drop-in centre.”

Gray, 22, of Dent Street, Hartlepool denied dangerous driving and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, both on September 25 last year.

When interviewed by police, he claimed he was not the driver, and could not have been because his car was stolen a few days earlier.

Under cross-examination by Mr Abrahams, Gray seemed unable to remember where he was on the day of the incident.

His partner Chelsea Carroll told the court Gray could not remember because he is ‘very dumb’.

The jury convicted Gray of both charges after a two-day trial.

After the verdicts were given, the court heard Gray is awaiting sentence for a separate offence of dangerous driving, also in Hartlepool.

Rachel Landin, defending, said: “Mr Gray is still a young man, and he has not been in trouble for two years.

“A pre-sentence report would assist the court.”

Judge James Brown adjourned passing sentence for the preparation of the report.

The judge told Gray: “You now fall to be sentenced for two offences of dangerous driving, and the assault of the officer.

“Custody will be at the forefront of court’s mind.”

Gray was bailed to return to court to be dealt with on July 25.

The judge imposed an interim driving ban on Gray, and warned him he faces a lengthy ban at sentence.