PC Dave Phillips killer 'deserved' sentence, appeal court rules

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Media captionThe BBC's Ed Thomas reports on how the chase - captured on police dashcam - unfolded

A car thief who killed a policeman by running him over in a stolen pick-up truck during a chase "thoroughly deserved" his 20-year sentence, a court has ruled.

Clayton Williams, 20, ploughed into PC Dave Phillips, 34, during a high-speed police pursuit in October 2015.

The officer was attempting to deploy a stinger device when Williams hit him.

The Court of Appeal upheld the length of the sentence given to Williams, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2016.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption PC Dave Phillips, a married father-of-two, died from internal injuries

Dismissing Williams' appeal, judge Sir Brian Leveson said: "In our judgement he (Williams) cannot have any complaint with the sentence passed upon him. It was thoroughly deserved.

"Severe punishment will be imposed on all those who kill or injure police officers."

Merseyside officer PC Phillips was struck in Wallasey after responding to reports of a burglary in Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, with a colleague.

The married father-of-two died shortly after arriving at hospital.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Clayton Williams was banned from driving for life

Adam Davis QC argued Williams had been sentenced to "very many years, far in excess of what was appropriate on the facts of the case".

"Is this so grave a crime that merited a sentence of 20 years for a 19 year old?" he said.

Rejecting the argument, Sir Brian agreed with the trial judge that this had been a "very grave offence of manslaughter".

He said Williams' age was taken into account when he was sentenced.

Williams was 19 when he was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court.

He ordered to serve 20 years, initially in a young offenders institution, and was also banned from driving for life.

Williams was found not guilty of attempting to wound another police officer.

Image caption Flowers were left at the scene of the police chase in Wallasey

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