Man fled scene after punching police officer in face

A THUG drove over a roundabout and ploughed through red lights after punching a police officer in the face.

Banned driver Colin Andrew Richardson struck the policeman in the forecourt of Ron Perry and Son A19 Services, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, after the officer stopped and questioned him about the car he was driving.

The force of the blow caused the officer to “stagger backwards” but he still managed to get out his baton and smash the windscreen of the car, which had been stolen in 2008, in a bid to prevent the yob from speeding off.

But his efforts were in vain as 42-year-old Richardson escaped back on to the A19 northbound carriageway and was next spotted by officers travelling along Hartlepool’s Catcote Road, towards Elwick Road.

There he fled from police at speeds of up to 50mph in the 30mph zone and overtook other drivers, went across a roundabout and went through a red light.

The pursuit only ended when Richardson got stuck behind another car at traffic lights and was then boxed in by police cars, at which point he reversed and smashed into one of the vehicles.

He was arrested and a small knife was discovered in his possession.

Richardson appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court in custody and pleaded guilty to a string of offences, all from August 6, which were:

l Assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty;

l Failing to stop when required by a police constable;

l Dangerous driving;

l Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence;

l Driving without insurance;

l Possession of a pocket knife;

l Handling stolen goods;

l Driving while disqualified.

Prosecuting, Graeme Richardson said: “The defendant was seen driving in Hartlepool and he activated his blue lights for him to stop, but he failed to do so and was seen doing 50mph in a 30mph zone.

“He overtook several vehicles, went across a roundabout, accelerated away causing other road users to brake, and went through a red light.

“The chase came to a stop when the defendant came to a red traffic light behind another vehicle and was boxed in by the police car. Richardson then reversed causing minor damage to the police vehicle.”

No mitigation was offered by his solicitor Helen Adams as chairman of the magistrates’ bench John Jenkins adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be compiled.

Richardson, of Alston Street, Newcastle, was remanded in custody until September 2.