Man jailed for driving offences on A14 and assaulting an officer

A 31-year-old man has been jailed for a number of offences, after swerving into the path of a police car on the A14 near Stowmarket whilst over the drink-drive limit and for assaulting an officer.

Mitchell Dickenson (pictured above) appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, March 20, where he was sentenced to a total of 20 months’ imprisonment, disqualified from driving for 46 months and ordered to take an extended retest.

Dickenson – who was residing in Woodley, near Reading, in Berkshire, at the time of the incident – had previously pleaded guilty to the following four offences:

  • – Dangerous driving;
  • – Driving whilst unfit through drink;
  • – Assault on an emergency worker; and
  • – Failing to provide a preliminary drug test.

At 10.55pm on Thursday, November 24, last year, police were called by a member of the public who reported that a Land Rover Freelander was being driven erratically on the A14 eastbound, near Woolpit.

Response officers were dispatched and located the vehicle approximately 10 minutes later near junction 50 at Stowmarket where it appeared to be stationary with its hazard lights on.

It then began to pick up speed but was indicating left as if to pull over to the nearside, so the police car – which was marked and had its blue lights illuminated – pulled alongside the Land Rover, at which point Dickenson swerved his vehicle towards in an apparent attempt to ram the police car.

The officers dropped back to request assistance from colleagues to stop the vehicle, before making a second attempt to get alongside the Land Rover, but again Dickenson swerved towards them and tried to force the police car into the central reservation.

The officers dropped back and continued to follow as they awaited support from other units.

At this point Dickenson was driving at speeds between 60mph and 100mph, weaving across the road and one point slammed on the brakes causing the police car to make an emergency stop.

As they were passing the off-slip at the Claydon turning, Dickenson cut across the chevrons at the last second and went over rough ground which caused the vehicle to become airborne as it went over a grass bank.

On returning back to the Claydon junction, the officers – who had now been joined by other colleagues – found that Dickenson had crashed and overturned the car on the roundabout and was standing beside it with cuts to his face and head.

Dickenson was then arrested for dangerous driving and subsequently failed a roadside breath test, providing a sample of 101 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, which is almost three times the legal limit. He then refused to provide a saliva sample for a roadside drugs test.

He was then transported to Ipswich Hospital in an ambulance to be checked over for his injuries, escorted by a police officer. Throughout the journey he was verbally abusive towards the police officer and paramedics.

On arrival at hospital, he kicked out at the police officer as he was trying to secure Dickenson to the trolley, making contact with the back of the officer’s head.

After receiving treatment at hospital, Dickenson was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre and subsequently charged, making his first court appearance on Saturday, November 26.

Sergeant George Laflin, of the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Mitchell Dickenson’s actions on the night in question were extremely reckless and dangerous and it is incredibly fortunate that nobody was seriously harmed as a result.

“The pursuing officers displayed great calm, skill and professionalism in how they went about the pursuit of Dickenson, putting themselves in harm’s way in the process, but also backing off when required so as not to increase the risk to other road users.

“Dickenson showed complete disregard to the safety of the officers and other motorists and his behaviour towards the arresting officer and also the paramedics was abhorrent, displaying a total lack of respect and common decency towards our professions. Assaulting and abusing emergency workers is completely unacceptable.

“I am pleased with the sentence handed down by the court which reflects the severity of his offences. Not only will he now spend several months in prison, the lengthy driving ban also handed out means he will be kept off our roads for the foreseeable future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *