Burglar who rammed police jailed for four years

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A burglar who injured two police officers when he rammed their car with a 4x4 vehicle during a £60,000 raid on a timber yard was jailed for four years.

John Harty, 28, left both officers with whiplash injuries after they were called to reports of forklift trucks being stolen from the premises in Gunby Road, Sewstern, near Grantham.

Police were called to the property after a milkman spotted suspicious activity during his early morning round, Lincoln Crown Court was told,

The court heard four forklift trucks valued at over £60,000 were removed from the yard after entry was gained through the roller doors.

Stephen Lowne, prosecuting, said when the two police officers arrived on the scene they spotted one of the forklift trucks being driven by a man who got in to a 4x4 vehicle.

Both officers described how the 4x4 driven by Harty accelerated towards them and “rammed” in to their vehicle. “The 4x4 hit the police car head-on,” Mr Lowne added.

The court heard one of the officers suffered a possible hairline fracture in his back which required injections in his spine. Both officers suffered whiplash.

Harty, of Hollydene Crescent, Nottingham, was only linked to the burglary after a DNA match was made over a year later.

The father-of-five later admitted the burglary which occurred on 1 May 2010 and assault causing actual bodily harm to the two police officers.

Passing sentence Judge Sean Morris told Harty he regarded his driving as the reckless use of a weapon.

“Over £60,000 of machinery was removed during this burglary. Fortunately £40,000 worth of machinery was recovered,” Judge Morris said.

“You obviously have no respect for those whose job it is to uphold the law. They have families as well.

“There is a man here who has had spinal injections because of you.”