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Man from Markfield who seriously injured a police officer jailed

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PC Yeoman sustained serious leg, back, neck and arm injuries.

A  21 year old has been jailed after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, criminal damage, and assault on an emergency worker.

Gerard McDonagh was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 14 June to 10 months in prison and banned from driving for two years and five months.

In November 2022 PC James Yeoman from the force’s roads policing unit (RPU) was patrolling in the Loughborough area when a vehicle was picked up on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system.

The vehicle – a Land Rover Freelander – was displaying false number plates.  PC Yeoman followed it at a distance onto the southbound carriageway of the M1 before the Land Rover exited at junction 22.

PC Yeoman continued to follow the vehicle which then drove into Markfield and Old House Lane.  The Land Rover stopped in the lane and reversed at speed towards the police car, causing the airbags to be deployed .

PC Yeoman sustained serious leg, back, neck and arm injuries and was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre.  Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to the police car.

Sergeant Steve Jackson from the RPU, said: “Officers within the unit are highly skilled in their field and are trained to pursue vehicles – sometimes at great speed, putting themselves in danger to reach a safe resolution.  We expect an element of risk in our job but when a suspect deliberately drives at speed towards a police car that is totally unacceptable.

“PC Yeoman sustained a serious leg injury and has had to undergo months of treatment.  There is no doubt an incident such as this leaves an impact on all those involved including colleagues who attended the scene.   

The driver, Gerard McDonagh, drove off and was later arrested nearby in Copt Oak Road.

McDonagh, 21, of Copt Oak Road, Markfield, was released on bail during the investigation and failed to attend the police station when he was required.

A warrant for McDonagh’s arrest was issued and he was arrested last month where he was charged with dangerous driving, criminal damage, and assault on an emergency worker.

He was remanded into custody and at his first appearance at Leicester Crown Court he pleaded guilty to all the offences.

DC Joe Mulvany was the investigating officer, he said: “McDonagh has shown no remorse for his actions and even during the investigation he failed to answer bail and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

“Due to that unfortunately the judicial process was delayed. We are pleased that he has now admitted his crimes and been sentenced.

Sergeant Jackson, added: “We hope this outcome goes someway in reassuring PC Yeoman that the defendant has been brought to justice and now faces a term in prison for his actions."

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