Dangerous and drunk driver who injured Whitnash Pc faces jail

Barrie Pearce
Barrie Pearce

A man who injured a police officer by driving at him during an incident in a residential street has been told that a prison sentence ‘has at least to be considered.’

Barrie Pearce had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm on Pc Scott Caswell, from Whitnash, with intent to cause him serious injury.

But at a further hearing, prosecutor Simon Hunka asked for a little-used offence of causing bodily harm by wanton and furious driving to be added to the indictment.

Pearce, 26, of Cross Street, Burton-on-Trent, standing in the dock with his right wrist in plaster, then pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm to Pc Caswell by wanton and furious driving.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to driving his Ford Focus dangerously in Hathaway Green Lane, Stratford, during the evening of November 27 last year.

And he has also admitted a further offence of driving with excess alcohol, after the court heard a breath test showed an alcohol reading of 71 - just over twice the legal limit of 35.

Accepting Pearce’s plea to the new charge, Mr Hunka told the judge: “That suffices. On any view Mr Pearce was not in a good place at all on that particular night.”

And he said that when Pearce is sentenced the prosecution will offer no evidence on the attempted GBH allegation – which will result in a not guilty verdict being entered on that charge.

The incident happened after Pc Caswell, who was on foot, responded to a call expressing concern for the welfare of a man at a property in Hathaway Green Lane.

But when he arrived at the scene Pearce drove towards him, and he was struck by the Focus, receiving injuries to his arm and hand for which he was treated at hospital.

After Pearce had entered his plea, his barrister Emma Nott asked for the case to be adjourned for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be prepared on Pearce.

She pointed out: “We have been able to obtain some psychiatric notes, but we would like to obtain a full psychiatric report.”

Deputy Judge Phillip Wassal agreed to adjourn until mid-December for the two reports to be prepared, and Pearce, who is already subject to an interim driving ban, was granted bail.

But Judge Wassal warned him: “The offending is so serious that a custodial sentence has at least to be considered. That will depend on how the court views it next time.”