Drink-driver broke policeman’s hand

James Phinn
James Phinn
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A DRINK-DRIVER broke a policeman’s hand when he lashed out as officers tried to arrest him.

James Phinn, who was almost three times the legal limit, sped off when police tried to pull him over for having a defective brake light in the early hours of the morning last April 25.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that after forcing another vehicle to swerve out of his path, the 24-year-old brought the stolen Ford Fiesta, which belonged to his father, to a standstill and fled.

Phinn, who had no insurance or licence, was caught hiding underneath a nearby parked car.

During the struggle that followed, Pc Paul Wilson’s hand was broken with a kick, which led to him needing a painful medical manipulation of the bones, followed by surgery and weeks of hospital visits.

Prosecutor Christopher Rose told the court that Pc Wilson’s fractured bone did not heal property and he needed to wear a cast and has been left scarred.

He added: “It took a considerable period of physiotherapy to get the use and grip of all of his fingers back.”

Mr Recorder Gregory Perrin jailed Phinn, of Arnold Street, Boldon Colliery, for 18 months.

The judge told him: “The officer in question came to try and apprehend you. He tried to arrest you and you responded by kicking out at him.

“It was, in essence, a single blow, a reckless act in simply lashing out, but what I cannot ignore is the serious injury that caused to the police officer.”

The judge banned Phinn, who had pleaded guilty to assault, aggravated vehicle taking, careless driving, driving with excess alcohol, with no insurance and no licence, from the roads for 18 months.

Stephen Duffield, defending, said: “This was not a deliberate attack, it was an attack in respect of him being arrested, in respect of his panic at being arrested.

“It was aimless lashing out.”