Driver imprisoned over Pc crash

Pc Diederik Coetzee, pictured with his daughters Lauren and Rachel, was nicknamed RoboCop for his work on a city estate

Pc Diederik Coetzee, pictured with his daughters Lauren and Rachel, was nicknamed RoboCop for his work on a city estate

First published in National News © by

A man has been jailed for 15 months for running over a celebrated police officer and leaving him injured in the middle of a road.

Mitchel Graham, 26, was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after admitting dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident after hitting Pc Diederik Coetzee, from Nottinghamshire Police, who was nicknamed RoboCop for his work on a city estate.

Sentencing Graham, Judge Jonathan Teare said she did not have the power to impose a longer sentence.

The judge told Graham: "You ploughed into him, throwing him into your windscreen and propelling him no less than 24m.

"You stopped for a moment then drove off knowing you had hit a cyclist, caring not when you left him there whether he would live or die."

Pc Coetzee was found in the middle of the road, having suffered serious head injuries in the collision. He spent six months in hospital and is still receiving rehabilitation treatment.

The court heard he is in a wheelchair and has problems with mobility. He also has no recollection of the accident.

On the night of the accident, Graham knew the car he was driving was in a dangerous condition. When asked by police after the accident whether he thought the car was safe, Graham told officers: "Not at all, I've been saying that for ages."

The nearside headlight and windscreen wipers were not working and the de-misting system was not operating properly, the court heard.

Prosecutor Paul Stimson said Graham had a significantly limited view of the road ahead and told police he could only see to the end of the bonnet on the night of the accident last November.

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