Rampaging man jailed after smashing parked cars and driving at police officer
A RUNCORN man has been sentenced for common assault of a police officer and dangerous driving in Widnes.
Ian Barton of St Paul’s Close was initially arrested for driving dangerously in December 2017.
He was parked at Whiston Hospital to visit a patient. The passenger in the car with Barton was wanted by the police, who were then alerted.
The car was monitored on CCTV heading towards Widnes.
DS Smith followed behind in an unmarked car.
Barton, 27, began to increase the speed of the car before braking hard and then going through a red traffic light. Police continued to follow him as he passed a junction on fire station road and shortly went through another set of red lights into traffic.
At around 9pm on October, 30 2018 while Barton was on bail, PC Knight saw his car, a Vauxhall Vectra and knew that he was wanted for failure to appear at court.
Barton turned onto Hale Road and then onto Southway, a cul-de-sac with PC Knight following him.
His car was turned to face the police vehicle and the road was very narrow and full of cars so there was no room for two cars to go through.
As PC Knight approached the car on foot, Barton put his foot on the pedal and then drove at the police car, making contact with the vehicle.
He then reversed in an ‘aggressive’ way.
PC Knight drew his baton and struck the screen on the drivers side, cracking it in an attempt to stop him,
Barton went up onto a kerb causing damage, including the damage of a fence. He reversed the car again and hit cars before driving at the police car again.
At this point there was a number of people watching from their windows.
Barton then drove at speed at PC Knight, who had to run and hide behind a car and press his police panic alarm for assistance.
He was detained and arrested after trying to get away.
In a victim personal statement PC Knight said: ‘‘Whilst I’m a police officer and am trained to expect the unexpected it has had a profound effect on me. I was simply doing my job.
‘‘I question my safety and why I come to work each day.
‘‘I really didn’t think I would be going home.’’
Individuals involved in damage also submitted victim statements.
One said that the damage to her car had caused a ‘great deal of distress and significant damage.’
The man whose fence was damaged said his wife suffers OCD and panic attacks and now, when she hears a noise outside, she fears it is the person coming back to cause more damage.
Barton’s defence said: “Mr Barton is aware of it crossing custody threshold. He’s a man who suffers bipolar and ADHD and is paranoid.
“He appears anxious and vulnerable. Paranoia is significant in the original offence.”
Barton has been in custody for a month and is struggling with paranoia – his defence worried he would be vulnerable and a custodial sentence would weigh heavy on him.
Deputy Circuit Judge Norman Wright said: “You committed another offence of dangerous driving, possession of cannabis and common assault on PC Knight.
“I have looked as CCTV showing one of the manoeuvres. You went through a number of red traffic lights.
When addressing the offences from October, he said: “You took the decision of not going quietly.
“You weren’t concerned about actually assaulting him, you just wanted to get away.
“These are very serious offences committed while on bail.”
Barton was sentenced to 22 months in prison and a four year and 48-week driving ban. ●
Ian Barton was spotted by police and ran two sets of lights before hitting parked vehicles and driving at a patrol car