Horsham robber dragged PC out of patrol car in escape bid

Published
media captionCCTV footage of PC Ellie Young being dragged from her car by an armed robber

A balaclava-clad armed robber who dragged and threw a police officer out of her patrol car after raiding a petrol station has been jailed.

Owen Smith, 29, tried to flee the Esso garage in Redkiln Way, Horsham, Sussex, in the car on 6 July but was Tasered after a struggle.

Despite being injured, CCTV shows PC Ellie Young tackling him with PC Vicky Canales and a member of the public.

Smith, of no fixed address, was jailed for 14 years at Hove Crown Court.

He admitted assault by beating of a police officer, possessing a baseball bat as an offensive weapon, robbery, taking a police vehicle without consent and driving while disqualified.

image copyrightSussex Police
image captionOwen Smith spotted the patrol car arrive during the raid at the Tesco Express store

PC Young was on a routine patrol and happened to stop at the garage while the raid was going on.

Staff at the Tesco Express store in the petrol forecourt had reported two balaclava-clad men with weapons stealing cash, cigarettes and alcohol.

During the raid, Smith spotted the patrol car and CCTV shows him running towards it before dragging the officer out of the car, throwing her to the ground and climbing into the driver's seat.

PC Young was left with arm, leg, shoulder and neck injuries and Smith was Tasered and arrested when back-up arrived.

Det Ch Insp Justina Beeken said: "Watching the CCTV of Owen Smith attacking our officers is absolutely harrowing, not least due to the ferocity of the attack.

"I commend the officers' bravery and commitment that evening in arresting him."

The second suspect is still being sought by police.

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