Assaulted officer helped catch fleeing biker despite suspected broken leg
PUBLISHED: 16:30 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:30 30 October 2019
A motorcyclist has apologised for wounding a police officer while trying to avoid arrest after being spotted riding on the pavement.
Benjamin Howlett, 25, of Kelvedon Drive, Rushmere St Andrew, rode a scrambler bike along a footpath at the roundabout connecting Bixley Road and Foxhall Road.
Despite being signalled to stop by officers in a marked vehicle, Howlett pulled into the road and crossed the junction into Foxhall Road, where he fell off the bike.
As Pc Gareth Jones attempted to grab him, Howlett jumped back in the saddle and pulled the throttle, spinning the rear wheel of the bike into the officer's right leg.
Howlett was chased down and detained on the forecourt of Lings Motorcycles, where his shoulder bag was found to contain cannabis inside a herb grinder.
While in custody, Howlett declined to provide a sample of blood for drug testing because of his phobia of needles.
In July, he admitted assaulting an emergency worker, careless driving, failing to stop, driving without a proper licence, driving without insurance and cannabis possession.
On Wednesday, he returned to Suffolk Magistrates' Court to face trial for failing to provide a specimen of blood for testing, but chose to admit the offence in the absence of any medical evidence to demonstrate the phobia had overcome his ability to consent.
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Prosecutor Jan Brewer said the injured officer was off work for two weeks after the incident, which happened just before noon on December 28 last year.
She said Pc Jones had shaken off the pain of grazes, swelling and bruising to his lower leg, cuts and bruises to one of his hands, and a sore head, to assist his colleague in detaining Howlett.
"He thought he had broken his leg, such was the severity of pain suffered upon falling to the ground," she added.
The officer returned to work on restricted duties and was later diagnosed with nerve damage.
Howlett told magistrates he had lost his licence, job as an HGV driver, and his future as the result of a "stupid mistake".
He added: "I'm extremely sorry to the officer. I didn't mean to harm him.
"I'm greatly remorseful.
"I'm paying for my decision in a lot of ways."
Magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report, including the option of custody, to be prepared by the probation service for a hearing on November 28.
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