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Officer accused of injuring runaway driver with patrol car defends actions caught on video
A police officer who knocked down a suspected drink-driver three times with his patrol car after the man “did a runner” in Bradford told investigators he just nudged him to prevent him returning to his vehicle, a jury has heard.
PC Steven Mullaney, 41, has gone on trial accused of causing Anthony Shaw actual bodily harm using a police car on a city side street.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Mullaney was on patrol with his colleague, PC Darren DaCosta, in the Wyke area early on March 18 last year, when they saw a Ford Fusion pull out of the car park of The Crown pub.
They stopped to talk to the driver, but Mr Shaw ran off and PC DaCosta chased him.
The jury was played footage from the police car, which showed Mullaney follow the chase along Huddersfield Road in the Vauxhall Vectra.
The footage shows how he turned into side streets and, at one point, Mr Shaw ran into the side of the police vehicle but continued running.
On Mary Street, the video shows how the front of Mullaney’s car bumped into Mr Shaw three times as he tried to run away from the officers.
Each time he falls to the ground, but gets up again. After the third time he is tackled by PC DaCosta, who had caught up, and the video shows the defendant assisting in Mr Shaw’s arrest.
Prosecutor Michael Smith told the jury the police car was estimated to be driving at between nine and 12mph at the time of the collision.
Mr Smith said Mr Shaw, 37, was breathalysed at the scene and gave a reading of 83 microgrammes per 100 millilitres. The legal limit is 35.
He was later taken to hospital and detained for three days suffering from injuries, including a sprained ankle.
Mr Smith said there was no recognised police technique for stopping a suspect with a patrol car in this way.
He said Mullaney told investigating officers that, in his experience, drivers who run from the police are either disqualified, have no insurance or are wanted for more serious offences.
Mullaney told detectives he had “put his car behind the driver and nudged him” on three occasions.
According to the prosecutor, the officer said he had “done no more than was reasonable and necessary to effect the arrest of Mr Shaw and to prevent him committing further offences.”
Mullaney, who is based at Lawcroft House Police Station in Manningham, denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one of dangerous driving and one of perverting the course of justice.
The perverting the course of justice charge relates to an allegation the officer took the video recording and put it in a tray at the police station reserved for tapes to be erased.
PC DaCosta told officers how the pair viewed the video from the car and Mullaney joked to him: “That looks bad. I can’t show this,” the court heard.
The trial continues.