Raver jailed for driving at Bourne policeman

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A woman who drove at a Bourne-based policeman and carried him on her car has been jailed for 12 months.

PC Rob Bentley was “spread-eagled on the bonnet” of a Peugeot 206 driven by Chelsea Harvey (21) as she tried to drive through a roadblock set up to stop people going to an illegal rave at Twyford Woods, near Colsterworth, on May 23, 2015.

PC Bentley was driven for a distance of 235 metres at which point a camper van crashed into the wing of the car.

James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, at Lincoln Crown Court

Harvey, of Ashley Walk, Dereham, Norfolk, who admitted dangerous driving, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from driving for a year at Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday.

James Bide-Thomas, prosecuting, said Harvey drove with PC Rob Bentley on her bonnet, while two friends in the car weaved from side to side to try and get PC Bentley off the bonnet.

Mr Bide-Thomas said: “He was spread-eagled on the bonnet, with one hand through the open driver’s side window for support and the other hand holding the aerial on the roof before it snapped off.

”The vehicle continued to pick up speed, described as going at between 20 and 30 mph, as PC Bentley was holding onto the vehicle.

“He was driven for a distance of 235 metres at which point a camper van crashed into the wing of the car.

“PC Bentley was terrified that the camper van would collide with him as the Peugeot then accelerated for a further distance of 115 metres.

“By this point, PC Bentley was attempting to punch his way through the windscreen and shout at the defendant to stop the car as the vehicle continued to weave from side to side.

“He described the vehicle at one point as braking heavily, he thought in an attempt to throw him off, before the window was wound up, trapping his fingers.”

The vehicle finally stopped and police officers arrested Harvey and her two friends on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.”

Mr Bide-Thomas said that PC Bentley had suffered relatively minor injuries, including bruising to his arm and leg.

But the officer was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder for which he was off work for several weeks and still, nearly a year later, is on restrictive duties.

Jonathan Straw, defending, said Harvey acted in “blind panic” and was “very sorry for what happened”.

“She didn’t intend to hurt - she went out with two friends that day simply to enjoy a party,” Mr Straw said.

But Judge Michael Heath said: “If you drive as you did with a police officer on your bonnet, for the distance that you did and at the speed you did, there can only be one sentence that I can impose upon you and that is immediate custody.”

After Harvey was sentenced, lead investigating officer DC Karen Delderfield of Grantham CID said: “This could have been a whole lot worse and we are thankful that PC Bentley was not seriously hurt.

“Nevertheless, the events of that night have had a lasting effect on him and Harvey’s actions should not be taken lightly as the court obviously considered the seriousness of the offence in imposing a hefty sentence.

“More than anything this reminds us of the potentially dangerous situations police officers put themselves in on a daily basis as part of their roles. “None of them know what each shift will bring with it and this is a stark reminder of the types of perilous circumstances they have to deal with.”