Hit-and-run driver jailed after fracturing PC's skull

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Media caption,

PC Chris Burnham was trying to stop Tekle Lennox, who had earlier refused to pull over

A hit-and-run driver who left a police officer with a fractured skull has been jailed for seven years.

PC Chris Burnham, 48, spent a week in an induced coma after suffering head injuries in Coventry on 25 September.

Tekle Lennox, 37, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent to resist arrest.

At Warwick Crown Court, Judge Peter Cooke ordered Lennox to serve a five-year driving ban following his release from prison.

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Tekle Lennox admitted causing grievous bodily harm

Lennox, of no fixed address, was already serving a three-year driving ban at the time of the crash in Holbrook Lane.

Lennox's Mini was filmed by a passing motorist's dashcam as it struck PC Burnham, knocked him on to its windscreen and carried him on the bonnet for almost three seconds, before throwing him into the road.

The court heard PC Burnham was attempting to apprehend Lennox after he failed to pull over.

'Been through hell'

Lennox had only a third of a second to react, the court heard, after PC Burnham emerged on foot from behind a van - but he then failed to brake and later increased his speed.

Passing sentence Judge Cooke accepted no driver would have had sufficient time to avoid the collision.

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
PC Chris Burnham suffered a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and shattered knee

He told Lennox: "The impacts on PC Burnham have been profound... he and his family have been through hell over the past few months."

"You hit Mr Burnham... he was thrown up in the most horrific fashion on to the bonnet of the vehicle."

Bernard Tetlow QC, defending, said there was no intention by Lennox to drive at or towards the officer.

Mr Tetlow said Lennox had continued to drive due to a "combination of panic, shock and fear, and an ongoing intent to evade arrest".

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