‘I pleaded with him to stop’, recalls officer run over by fleeing criminal
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A police officer has recalled the terrifying moment she was run over by a fleeing criminal.
Amy Macaulay was mown down by James Turner in London Road, Ipswich, on Thursday, March 21.
Despite at one point being trapped under the front wheel, Pc Macaulay was able to get back into the passenger seat of a police vehicle and give chase.
She returned to work in time to see Turner receive two years' imprisonment for a string of offences at Ipswich Crown Court on April 25.
Colleagues have praised her remarkable resolve in the face of danger, while denouncing Turner's disregard for the law.
Officers had pulled in front a Nissan Juke Acenta, suspected of being driven with false number plates, while it was stationary at the junction of Hadleigh Road.
As Pc Macaulay approached and opened the driver's door, Turner accelerated and collided with the back of the police vehicle, before slamming his car into reverse.
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Pc Macaulay was dragged backwards and fell under the front wheel, before Turner drove back into the police car and reversed again - crushing her right leg and then driving over her feet.
Astonishingly, she got back up and joined helped pursue the Nissan, which was later found smashed up and abandoned.
Pc Macaulay went to hospital for treatment and required a month off work to recover.
Turner, 56, of Old Norwich Road, Ipswich, was arrested the next day and charged with ABH, three counts of aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, three counts of driving without a licence, three of driving while disqualified, and using a motor vehicle without insurance.
Pc Macaulay, 37, said: "After receiving information to suggest a car was being driven on false or stolen plates, we found the vehicle in London Road and pulled alongside to see a single middle-aged male occupant.
"He didn't give us much cause for concern, so we pulled in front and my colleague stayed in the car.
"I banged on the bonnet as I ran round to the driver's side, so he knew I was there.
"When I opened the door, he looked at me but didn't speak. His body language didn't give me any cause for concern. Then he suddenly drove forward and collided with the police car.
"My colleague was quick to block his way, which, in hindsight, stopped me being more injured.
"Then he reversed, suddenly. The driver's door was still open, so it dragged me along the ground before he ran over my leg.
"I had a bump to the head, and the side of my face started to bruise. I had a hip injury, whiplash and grazing to my arm.
"Miraculously, my leg wasn't broken but there was bruising on the bone. There is no doubt that, without my boots, I would have very little ankle left.
"It's hard to describe, but every part of me ached.
"When I fell under the car, I was trapped with the wheel on my leg.
"I remember looking up and pleading with him to stop. I thought, if he carried on, I wasn't going to make it out of there.
"In interview, he made little comment but to apologise and say he was just trying to get away.
"It was quite a deliberate act. It's not often people try to hurt you. It's been hard to come to terms with because I questioned if I'd done something wrong, but looking back, I know I didn't.
"Work were excellent. Anything I needed; they were there to assist. I was offered a TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) meeting and it allowed me to talk about what had gone on, and to deal with it."
Superintendent Matt Rose, head of specialist operations, said: "Our officers are prepared to put themselves in danger, every day, to keep the county safe.
"Anyone willing to attack them has no respect for the law, and no thought for anyone else.
"This driver recklessly decided to make a getaway with no thought for the safety of others.
"Amy was very fortunate to be left with only bruises after being knocked to the ground and having her foot driven over.
"We have an extensive welfare process in place to ensure officers get all the support they need."
Police Federation chairman, Darren Harris said: "Amy showed really great resolve and was extremely lucky with her injuries, which could have been a lot worse.
"The Protect the Protectors Bill and the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act have strengthened the courts, and this sentence will, hopefully, send a clear message that it's completely unacceptable.
"The psychological and physical effects on our officers need to be reflected in sentencing. We shouldn't have to accept being abused as part of the job."