Man guilty of running over Birmingham PC with police car

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Mubashar Hussain ran over the officer as he fled the scene in Moseley, Birmingham, in the police car

A car thief has admitted seriously injuring a police officer who he ran over with a police car.

PC Gareth Phillips suffered potentially life-changing injuries when he was punched to the ground and hit by the car in Moseley, Birmingham, last month.

The traffic officer was attacked stopping Mubashar Hussain, 29, who had stolen a Range Rover Evoque.

Hussain admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 15 October.

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
PC Gareth Phillips has been "absolutely overwhelmed by messages of support", West Midlands Police said

The accused, of no fixed address, faced a total of 12 charges when he appeared via videolink at Birmingham Crown Court earlier.

PC Phillips, 42, had gone to reports of a stolen car in Moorcroft Road at about 16:45 BST on 10 August and found Hussain in the driver's seat and his co-defendant Ahsan Ghafoor in the passenger seat.

Hussain fought back as the PC and other officers tried to arrest him.

He was Tasered but managed to break free and got into a BMW police car at the scene which was parked behind the stolen car and drove at the officer.

Image source, @imjustbrum/PA
Image caption,
Hussain was arrested in Sparkbrook, about a mile away from the attack in Moseley

Hussain, who was already banned from driving, fled the scene, driving over the officer.

He abandoned the vehicle a short time later in the Sparkbrook area and was arrested. He was originally charged with attempted murder.

PC Phillips underwent two operations within hours of the attack and remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC told the court updated medical evidence about PC Phillips' injuries would be presented at the next hearing.

West Midlands Police initially said PC Phillips was run over by his own patrol car, but have since clarified it was a different force vehicle which was also at the scene.

Image source, SnapperSK
Image caption,
PC Phillips had been called along with other officers to the stolen Range Rover in Moorcroft Road, Moseley

Hussain admitted causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of vehicle theft, dangerous driving, two counts of driving while disqualified, two counts of assault, assaulting an emergency worker, aggravated vehicle-taking, and two charges of having no insurance.

His co-defendant Ghafoor, 24, also of no fixed address, admitted two counts of car theft and was also remanded in custody.

Ghafoor also admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving other than in accordance with a licence.

Paul Farrow, of the CPS, said: "This was a sickening offence where Hussain's only thought was to ensure his escape, whatever the cost.

"Our thoughts are with PC Phillips as he embarks upon a long road to what is hoped will be a full recovery, although this remains uncertain."

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Ahsan Ghafoor was also remanded in custody for sentencing next month

West Midlands Police said PC Phillips had now moved from the intensive care unit on to a general ward, was "comfortable and in good spirits".

A spokesman said: "He and his family have been absolutely overwhelmed by messages of support and they have asked that their heartfelt thanks be passed on to everyone who has been in touch."

Hussain pleaded not guilty to a further count of assault with intent to resist arrest, which will not be proceeded with.

The CPS confirmed Hussain was originally charged with attempted murder "before all the available footage and other evidence was available".

"On careful review of all of the evidence, it could not be proved that Hussain had an intention to kill PC Phillips as he drove forward and this meant that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for the offence of attempted murder.

"Causing grievous bodily harm to PC Phillips with intent to resist arrest was considered to be the appropriate charge," a CPS spokesman said.

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