Driver who dragged police officer jailed

By Barrie Hudson - 23 June 2022

Crime
  • Marlon Joao

    Marlon Joao

A driver who dragged a Wiltshire Police officer during an incident near Swindon has been jailed.

The officer suffered two fractures to her ankle and tendon damage to her wrist during the incident on the A419.

Marlon Kambulu Joao, 39, of Merton Court, Eynsham, Oxfordshire pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to Section 20 Grievous Bodily Harm, dangerous driving, and other driving offences.

He was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court to 34 months in prison and disqualified from driving for 28 months.

The court heard how in the early hours of 26 April, officers in a marked vehicle saw Joao travelling south on the northbound carriageway and signalled for him to stop, which he did.

After being stopped, Joao got back into his car and attempted to drive away, despite being told not to by the two officers at the scene.

While one of the officers was attempting to remove the keys from the ignition of the vehicle, Joao resisted and the officer was subsequently dragged a short distance, causing her injuries. Her colleague managed to help free her from the fleeing vehicle.

Joao was arrested after a short pursuit.

The injured officer is still recuperating.

In an impact statement issued to the court, Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “My officers and staff work tirelessly to protect the vulnerable, keep communities safe and to prevent and detect crime. They have a right to go about their daily duty without the fear of being assaulted.

“Both officers who were in attendance during this part of the incident have suffered significant trauma due to the actions of the defendant. These police officers acted in the face of unnecessary and aggressive behaviour. The violent and dangerous actions of the defendant will have an incredible impact on the officers.

“The officers were present to ensure the safety of the defendant and the public, and maintain calm and order. This is unacceptable behaviour towards the officers just for doing their jobs keeping our communities safe.

“Despite this and the protection they are afforded through their personal issue appointments (police uniform and kit), being physically or verbally assaulted should never be tolerated or considered to be acceptable as part of their public duty.”

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