Man jailed after assaulting police officer when stopped on M4

By Jessica Durston - 20 May 2022


A motorist who assaulted a police officer when she pulled over his car on the M4 has been handed a prison sentence and a driving ban.

A roads policing officer was carrying out patrols on the westbound carriageway of the M4 near Swindon at around 11pm on 18 March 2022. 

She became aware of a black Lexus approaching at speed and, after becoming concerned about the manner of driving, pulled the car over.

However, while she was attempting to put handcuffs on the driver, he resisted and assaulted her by pushing her against the car door and injuring her arm.

Pava spray was deployed and shortly afterwards fellow officers arrived at the scene to assist with detaining the driver.

Michael Francis, 45, of Chapter Walk, Bristol, appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court on 18 May for sentencing.

He had previously pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of blood, failing to provide a specimen of breath and assaulting an emergency worker.

He was jailed for 16 weeks, disqualified from driving for three years and two months, and ordered to pay £50 in compensation to the officer he assaulted. He was also ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.

Inspector Andy Moreton, from Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our officers are out on patrol on the roads of Wiltshire day and night to keep people safe and apprehend drivers who pose a risk to other road users.

“It is completely unacceptable when police officers are assaulted while carrying out these public duties, and I am pleased to see the courts acknowledging this and ensuring these offenders are taken off our streets.”

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