Driver high on cocaine struck officer with his BMW in Wakefield city centre, court hears

A motorist high on cocaine struck a patrolling police officer with his BMW in Wakefield city centre as he drove off at speed, a court was told.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 8:26 am

Lewis Ian Garside clipped the elbow of the officer after he tried to speak with him in the early hours of July 13, last year, just off Westgate.

Prosecuting, Vincent Blake-Barnard told Leeds Crown Court on Monday that the officer had been investigating a case of criminal damage before he approached the car.

But before he had chance to speak to the driver, the BMW sped off along Westgate and up the one-way street, Drury Lane, the wrong way.

Garside drove the wrong way up Drury Lane to get away from police.

There was no indication as to how badly injured the officer was in the incident.

Two hours later, the BMW was seen in the car park at Asda on Asdale Road and the police approached him again. Again he drove off but was stopped after a brief chase.

He was found to be in possession of a small quantity of MDMA, and was three times over the drug-drive limit for cocaine.

He initially told police he was the driver of the vehicle, but denied it was him who had clipped the police officer in the incident earlier.

Garside, 21, of Partridge Crescent, Thornhill, admitted a charge of being over the drug-drive limit, dangerous driving and obstructing a police officer.

A probation report into Garside suggested he regretted his actions, that his "head had been all over the place" after the death of a family member and made a "massive mistake" by being offered cocaine that night and taking it.

Working full time as a machine operator, the court was told he is hoping to join the Royal Marines.

Mitigating, Georgina Goring, said: "He is very sorry and is ashamed of his actions.

"His family are supportive of him and he has not used any drugs since the date of this offence, which was nearly 18 months ago."

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told him: "While you were trying to get away you struck a police officer. I'm not saying you intended to strike him but he could have sustained a serious injury."

He handed him six months' jail, suspended for 18 months, gave him a two-year driving ban and 250 hours of unpaid work.