Banbury policeman loses leg in drunk driving incident - man is jailed
A Banbury police officer whose leg had to be amputated after a drunk driver ran into him said he was glad the man responsible had been convicted.
However Hayden Brown, aged 25, of Suffolk Road, Maidenhead refused to admit his guilt and was found guilty by unanimous jury of three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and pleaded guilty to one count of driving a motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed limit of alcohol and one count of driving without insurance.
It followed a five day trial Reading Crown Court which concluded last Friday.
Brown was sentenced to five years imprisonment for each count of dangerous driving and four months for driving over the prescribed limit of alcohol. These counts will run concurrently. Brown was also disqualified from driving for seven and half years and will have to undergo an extended driving test.
The conviction and sentencing is in connection with a road traffic collision which happened on September 2, 2018 on Norden Road, Maidenhead.
At around 5.30am two Thames Valley Police officers PC Tom Dorman from Banbury - who is now an acting Sergeant - and PC Norman Lam carried out a routine stop check on a taxi.
Both officers were out of the vehicle when another car, a silver Ford Focus, driven by Brown, was travelling at excessive speed and out of control along Norden Road.
Brown's car collided with both the officers first, causing them to be pushed against the taxi which was being stop checked. Brown's vehicle then collided with the taxi and police car.
A/Sgt Dorman received serious injuries as a result of the crash which led to him having his left leg amputated. He also suffered a depressed skull fracture. He continues to receive medical treatment.
PC Lam sustained several puncture wounds and severe bruising to his legs, fractured ribs, a dislocated shoulder as well as contusions to his arms. PC Lam has been psychologically affected by the incident and is undergoing treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A 20-year-old woman, Ani Butt from Maidenhead, who was a passenger in the car that Brown was driving also suffered serious injuries. This included 24 broken bones and internal injuries which required several operations.
Brown fled the scene of the collision, but was later arrested on the same day. A breathalyser test was carried out and Brown was found to be nearly two times over the drink drive limit for alcohol. He was charged on February 28, 2019 by postal requisition.
A/Sgt Tom Dorman, who is now living in Banbury, said: "At around 8.10am on Sunday, December 2, 2018, Hayden Brown was complaining to a custody sergeant that he was in police custody 20 miles from his home address. At the same time I was fighting for my life at the John Radcliffe hospital following injuries I received as a direct result of Brown's actions.
"Brown knew that he would be over the drink drive limit, along with taking a concoction of drugs including smoking cannabis and consuming cocaine, yet chose to drive a short distance in such a dangerous manner that it nearly proved fatal.
"I'm pleased that Brown has now been convicted for his dangerous behaviour, despite the fact that when faced with overwhelming evidence he still refused to admit his guilt or apologise. I'm pleased the jury rejected his defence and saw through his lies. The result of his actions will have a short impact on his life compared to the long lasting impact that this has had on mine, my family and my colleagues.
"The judge passed the maximum sentence in law she was entitled to do, I'd like to take this opportunity to draw attention to the fact that the maximum sentence is the same for this as an offence of assaults which cause actual bodily harm which can include injuries such as cuts that require stitches. I urge the government to review the maximum sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and consider introducing an offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.
"I'd like to thank the investigation team and the Crown Prosecution Service for their relentless pursuit of justice and all those who assisted on the day in saving my life and through my on-going recovery, especially my partner Anneliese who has supported me throughout."
Chief Inspector James Upton of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said: "Time and time again we see the devastating effects that drinking or taking drugs and then getting into a car and driving can have.
"In this case Brown was driving at excessive speed under the influence of alcohol. His reckless actions of getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence, driving at speed and ultimately losing complete control of the vehicle had a devastating impact on three people's lives and it is extremely lucky that no-one died.
"The injuries that A/Sgt Dorman, PC Lam and Ani Butt, received physically and psychologically will have a lasting impact.
"It is clear in this case that Brown was in no state to be driving a car, being over the legal limit for alcohol.
"This case is a clear reminder of the dangers of drink-driving and at the start of this festive season I would make a plea to everyone to never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol or taken drugs as it really is not worth the risk."
PC Norman Lam, said: ""My only wish throughout this ongoing ordeal had been for the guilty party in this case to have the conscience to own up to his reckless actions."
"It was hugely unfortunate that we were in the path of the out-of-control vehicle at the time, being driven by someone under the destructive influence of alcohol and drugs. He should not have been behind the wheel at all, if not for the sake of the occupants in the car, then for his own and his family who have also been affected"
"As police officers we were simply doing our job and it could be crudely said that we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"However if the circumstances had been different, then without hesitation, we would have been the first to assist Mr Brown and his friends. Rather than being left behind like discarded rag dolls to die, as the driver did, when he ran away following this incident."
"The events of this incident will sadly be with me for some time but I am grateful to my fellow officers who have meticulously investigated the collision and to the jury that convicted Brown".
"Finally I would also like to offer my deepest thanks to my family, friends and Thames Valley Police - my extended family for their ongoing support."
Ani Butt said: "As a result of this incidence I suffered horrific injuries including 24 broken bones, internal injuries and chronic nerve damage, leading to me having to learn to walk again.
"This incident has meant I have not been able to attend university and my mother had to give up work to care for me. The incident has had a huge effect on both of us.
"My mind still goes back to that night when I was trapped underneath the car in excruciating pain. I don't know if the memories of that night will leave me. Additionally I still do not know if the pain from my injuries will ever go away.
"I am hugely sorry for those who been affected due to this incident and I could go back I would have made sure that things were different that night.
"I would like to thank all those who supported me, especially my mum, and I am grateful to the officers, prosecutor and the court for bringing Brown to justice."