A VAN driver who rammed a pursuing traffic officer during a high-speed police chase on narrow country lanes has been jailed.
Garry Bean (42) caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a police car and left the pursuing officer with neck and back pain, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Recorder Darren Preston jailed Bean for ten months and banned him from the road for 17 months, telling him: “Police officers are putting themselves out there on the front line every day — risking themselves and their health every single day — and they do not deserve people like you driving deliberately at them in large vans.”
Mr David Webster, prosecuting, said two police officers had spotted Bean driving a red Transit van on Penny Hill Lane in Thurcroft at about 8.30pm on October 2 last year.
Officers chased Bean, of Wellgate, Rotherham, for about eight minutes as he drove too quickly down dark, narrow country lanes.
“On one occasion, he brought his vehicle to a halt deliberately to provoke a police manoeuvre before driving off again,” said Mr Webster.
Bean stopped and reversed his van into the police car — causing £5,000 worth of damage — and tried to do it again during the chase.
The officer driving the car suffered pain in his neck and upper back the following day, Mr Webster said.
Footage from the police car’s dashcam showed the chase only came to an end when Bean crashed into a ditch.
He tried to flee but police caught him and, when he was breathalysed, they found he had 60 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, nearly twice the legal limit of 35 micrograms.
Bean admitted to officers that he had been driving, said he had been an “idiot”, and apologised, Mr Webster said.
Bean admitted offences of dangerous driving, criminal damage and drink-driving before last Wednesday’s hearing.
Mitigating, Mr Richard Barradell said Bean had significant health problems and had with him “the largest bag of prescription drugs I have ever seen brought to court”.
He said Bean was a father of six children, all aged under 16.
By him losing his liberty, they would all suffer, said Mr Barradell.
Mr Barradell said Bean had been convicted of drink driving 20 years ago and had until recently been an alcoholic, drinking “six cans a day”.
Recorder Preston told him: “You eventually crashed the van into a ditch but even then you weren’t finished because you ran away.
“You weren’t showing many signs of chronic ill health when you ran away.”