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4 March 2021
Allowing a man who ran over a Sussex Police officer to walk away from court with a suspended prison sentence is a “disgraceful outcome”, the Police Federation has said.
Donna Lonsdale, Deputy Chair of Sussex Police Federation, was speaking after drink driver Shane Reed was given a ten month suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work for running over PC Alex Morris’s leg as he tried to flee from the officer.
Reed, formerly of Martins Gardens, Crowborough, who was nearly three times over the legal limit, caused PC Morris “excruciating” pain but luckily the officer did not suffer any broken bones or long term injury following the incident.
The 28-year-old admitted drink driving and was found guilty of failing to stop for an officer and assaulting an emergency worker when he appeared before Lewes Crown Court.
“A non-custodial sentence for running over a police officer who was just doing his job is truly disappointing,” said Donna. “Anything other than a custodial sentence for such a crime is a disgraceful outcome.
“Our officers spend each day at work putting their lives at risk to protect the public, the courts need to protect the protectors with strong sentences – and frankly we have not seen that in this case.
“Police officers are frustrated that the courts are not consistent when issuing punishments to offenders who assault them. Strong deterrents would not only make these violent offenders think twice but also reflect on the long-term effects these assaults have on our members.”
Donna added: “This was a clear case of assaulting an emergency service worker in the execution of their duty - the second Reed made the decision to get away by driving off he put the officer in danger.
“The Police Federation’s #ProtectTheProtectors campaign achieved the New Assaults on Emergency Workers Act 2018 - clearly this lenient sentencing decision shows we have more work to do.
“The courts can do their part by consistently issuing custodial sentences to any violent offenders who put officers in danger whilst they are just doing their jobs. This would offer a significant deterrent.
“To be completely honest anything else is meaningless.”
Reed, formerly of Martins Gardens, Crowborough, was given a ten-month suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.